Back-to-school season encourages loyalty program and gift card use
August 14, 2013

Many consumers look for ways to receive discounts on goods. From utilizing loyalty programs to employing digital coupons, customers like to seek out ways to save money at their favorite retailers. With consumers set to increase their spending during back-to-school season, retailers may want to encourage customers to use their gift card program or redeem their credit card points. 

According to Multichannel Merchant, an online marketing resource, many retailers are promoting their loyalty and gift card initiatives during back-to-school season to drive sales while still providing consumers with ways to save. The source reported that the National Retail Federation estimates total spending during back-to-school season will reach $26.7 billion. To take advantage of this increase in spending, many merchants are targeting parents and school-aged children, encouraging them to save money by utilizing the retailers' loyalty program.

Consumers look to redeem points
The Fiscal Times, a business and political news site, advised consumers to use their loyalty program and credit card points as well as gift cards to help reduce the costs of back-to-school shopping. With the price of school supplies rising, The Fiscal Times reported it is important to take advantage of points accumulated from swiping plastic or participating in a loyalty program to save money. 

When customers convert their points into gift cards or other types of rewards, their satisfaction with the retailer often increases, making it more likely they will return to the store in the future. According to Multichannel Merchant, retailers can ask shoppers to participate in a loyalty program to save money that day or discount products for participating program users. 

Kathy Grannis, director of media relations for the NRF, told the source that numerous retailers are making back-to-school shopping a priority by instituting creative campaigns to drive loyalty program participation. Grannis said certain merchants are trying to target parents to shop at their store and participate in their loyalty and gift card initiatives to receive specialized deals. 

Small and medium-sized merchants can boost their sales by asking shoppers to enroll in their loyalty program. When consumers are able to see instant savings and accumulate points, they may be more willing to purchase products from the retailer again. Back-to-school season is the perfect time to drive loyalty programs and promote the retailer's gift cards to consumers. 

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