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2015 Holiday Gift Card Strategy

The holiday shopping season is already here and we thought it would be helpful to show how to incorporate gift cards, the most popular gift for both consumers and B2B organizations, into your holiday strategy. Here are 3 ways to incorporate gift cards into your holiday program.

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Gift Card Spending to Rise this Holiday Season

The National Retail Federation has announced that this holiday season, if all goes according to plan, spending on gift cards will break all previous records.
NRF predicts gift card spending will reach $31.74 billion, up 83% since gift card spending tracking began in 2003. What does this mean? It's simple. Gift cards are the perfect gift. They are easy for the giver, they are guaranteed to please the receiver, and the price is set. It fits the budget, and is easy. Could any holiday-shopping-crazed consumer ask for anything else? We don't think so either. The important thing to remember is that gift cards work for everyone. This means not just your friends and family, but anyone else you might need to give gifts too. Providing small gifts to employees at the end of the year is a great way to say thanks. It's a small act of appreciation. It could be as simple as giving them a gift to a
grocer to help curb the cost of their Thanksgiving or holiday dinner. So, as everything starts to get crazy later this week, with presents and decorations and wrapping paper, keep it simple and everyone will be happy.

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2014 Holiday Gift Card Spending to Top $31 Billion

This year holiday gift card spending on both plastic and digital gift cards will top all previous records with sales expecting to reach over $31 billion!  Gift cards have shed their reputation of being impersonal and have emerged as the perfect practical gift item for millions of holiday shoppers and are the most requested holiday gift for the 8th year in a row. Shoppers are expected to spend an average of $47.87 a card, up 6% over last year.  Since the
National Retail Federation began tracking customers holiday purchasing intentions in 2003, the total spend on gift cards has increased 83%. “Consumers young and old want to find the best way possible to create a happy holiday experience for their loved ones, and gift cards are a great option every time.”  Gift cards are a go-to gift for consumers of all ages; adults 65+ will spend the most on gift cards, while young adults will spend the least.  In addition, men will spend almost 10% more than women on gift card purchases. The following charts provide more insight into the 2014 NRF survey results, check out more
here.
About the Survey The NRF 2014 Gift Card Spending Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 6,593 consumers and was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics, November 3-10, 2014. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.
Download complete survey results here!

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Gift Cards: The Perfect Employee Holiday Gifts & Workplace Rewards

Gift cards have become a versatile and appreciated choice for holiday gifting in the workplace. They provide a hassle-free way to say thank you and can cater to diverse preferences. Here are five innovative ways to use gift cards in your workplace during the holidays, benefiting employees, customers, co-workers, and even your company's philanthropic efforts.

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Preventing Gift Card Fraud this Holiday Season

With the holiday shopping season fast approaching retailers are preparing for big revenues and high traffic in stores. Preventing gift card fraud is a great way to ensure revenue is retained and retailers don't take a hit to their Q4 numbers because of consumer fraud. According to a recent survey by NRF 78% of retailers have been victims of gift card fraud. Here are 3 ways to prevent gift card fraud this season
1. Keep an Eye on Gift-Card Racks: Keep gift cards in an area where store clerks and floor attendants can see them. Protecting gift card numbers from view and keeping racks in plain sight will help prevent consumers from stealing cards or gift card numbers.
2. Raise a Red Flag for Zero Balance Complaints: Employees can replace customer gift cards with zero balance cards behind the register. If you receive a number of zero balance complaints from a single store it may be time to closely monitor staff.
4. Compare Number of Gift Cards Activated with the Number Sold: Doing simple comparisons of number of gift cards sold with the number activated can help you stop any issues you may have during the short 25 day shopping season. Catching a fraud issue as it's happening rather than finding out about it later is always a better strategy.
For more information on preventing gift card fraud this holiday season check out this article from Entrepreneur.com.

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