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Mobile Retail: Combining in-store and online shopping

Increasing numbers of consumers are using their mobile devices while shopping.  In tough economic times, consumers are always looking for the best deal, and will do extra work and research to ensure that they get the best price.  Consumers are now looking for deals, coupons, rewards, and free gifts through their mobile devices.  63% of consumers asked in the 2011 Hipcricket Mobile Marketing Survey said that they had accessed a retailer's website from their mobile device, and 41% said they had done so from inside a retail store.  Mobile technology is revolutionizing the way consumers shop and receive coupons and special offers, it is even changing the way employers give out rewards and incentives. Imagine getting your holiday gift in a gift card form, right to your mobile device.   33% of consumers indicated that they would be interested in receiving special offers through their mobile device, which often includes quick response deals, deals only good for a few hours after receipt of the coupon. This statistic proves how engaged consumers are, and how even when consumers are on the go, or even at work, they are a captive audience for retailers looking to deliver coupons, offers, and even free gifts. Consumers are allowing retailers to access them on their mobile devices, which means a constant cycle of deals, coupons, and shopping.  This holiday season mobile engagement is going to play a big role in retailer success. If you use mobile retail sites or deals leave us a comment and let us know how you use them, and what advancements you would like to see in the future.  
For more information on the 2011 Hipcricket Mobile Marketing Survey, or mobile retail strategy click here.

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What Did YOU Get out of the 2011 Motivation Show?

This was my first MoShow. I was struck by how interesting it was to connect the dots between so many gift card industry players and perspectives. Present were partners (tech & business alliances), customers (channel partners & end customers), professional organizations, and clients and prospective clients (retailers/merchants), all whom found the MoShow an important place to be. In that vein; each GiftCard Partners attendee offered me their take-aways from the show. I had a sense that the take-aways would be diverse…and they are!
Ed Shulkin: “Employee Wellness Programs topped the list of programs employers were looking for.”
Deb Merkin: “Our plan was the following and it led to just the kind of activity we wanted from the show. Prepare - Do your homework- know who is attending and reach out and make appointments through Motivation Connect. Penetrate - Penetrate and engage new and old accounts through intimate meetings.Progress – Move potential sales through the sales funnel by following up after the motivation show.”
Melina Balboni: “This year’s Motivation Show proved to be a great ground for networking with potential new clients. We found that several established companies are interested in taking their business to the next level and looking for creative ways of reaching the ever-growing end-user market”.
Diane Freeland: “Overall, this year’s Motivation Show had fewer exhibitors and reduced attendance, but we found it’s becoming a great venue for partner meetings and better networking opportunities. Canada is a continually growing B2B frontier. Several partners asked us about international redemption options with Canada topping the list.”
Kate Balboni: “The new “Final Rule” law issued by FinCEN was a big topic of discussion at the MoShow’s IGCC meeting! The new anti-money laundering regulations will directly impact the Gift Card Industry.  For in-depth information regarding the “Final Rule” by FinCEN, please visit:
 Cynthea Baldwin Florsheim: “The show confirmed to me that plastic cards are here to stay – there is definitely more and more interest in eCerts; however, I believe we will see complimentary growth in that market vs. plastic being replaced.”
Stacey Sicurella: “The show really allowed me to learn about and communicate with the contingents that glue to our industry and our company together. I was also fascinated at how many meetings we had going on, and often at one time…a good sign for gift cards from merchant and customer perspectives. What Did YOU Get out of the 2011 Motivation Show? Please leave us your comments HERE.

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The Home Depot’s Gift Card Strategy Advice

It’s holiday corporate gift giving season and gift card promotion time, but some retailers aren’t losing track of their long term goals and strategies. Forbes.com presents The Home Depot’s advice to retailers and merchants on developing their gift card strategy, including their placement in B2B programs like corporate incentive programs, the importance of personalization, promoting eGift Cards, mobile and social channels, and more. GiftCard Partners is always proud to bring you examples of who is doing B2B gift cards right! Read on to discover
The Home Depot’s best in breed advice for gift card strategies. Source: Forbes.com MarketShare

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Incentive Magazine Announces #1 Employee Award

GiftCard Partners recently reported that the
2011 Gift Card IQ Survey reveals good news for retailers & merchants when it comes to “bigger” incentive gift card budgets. Retailers and merchants may be celebrating an increased use of gift cards when other consumer spending categories have slowed, but the Corporate Gift Card IQ Report also announces good news for employers who use gift cards as incentives and for those who wish to use them. Some interesting information was uncovered in Incentive's September report, which outlined the respondents' a couple personal questions and it revealed more data.

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Is Your Loyalty Program Listening?

Loyalty programs are an important channel for GCP to sell our gift cards into, so we thought our loyalty companies (clients) as well as our retailer audience would find this article interesting and educational. It outlines an interesting argument for integrating a holistic approach to the business, which includes loyalty, resulting in a cohesive customer experience. As a consumer, I have received offers that exclude me because I am already a loyalty member…a classic show of “the disconnect that customers feel (that) is the result of the siloed approach to loyalty programs…” Read on @ Retail Customer Experience:
Beyond a loyalty program: Using loyalty data to create a unified strategy    

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