Invest in multichannel infrastructure to capitalize on gift card programs
February 11, 2014

Maintaining a strong presence on multiple retail platforms is one of the most effective ways for small and medium-sized businesses to get the most out of gift card programs.

Many stores jumped on these alternative sales and marketing tools during the recent holiday season to give consumers additional ways to spend their money. Offering gift cards is an easy strategy for alleviating the stress associated with keeping inventory fully stocked, especially during busy shopping seasons. A recent article from Transaction World magazine cited data from the National Retail Federation that anticipated spending on gift cards would reach new heights during the 2013 holidays.

Now that those days have come and gone, the big challenge for businesses will be in encouraging shoppers to spend the full amount on their gift cards. Consumers often use these tools to make several small purchases. However, over time, it can be easy for individuals to neglect their cards. Many people may not even remember to spend their remaining balances before the card expires. According to the magazine, the data analysis firm CEB Tower found that $1.7 billion went unspent from expired gift cards in 2012.

Investing in advanced payment processing solutions can be one especially valuable way to encourage spending from gift card holders in the future.

Integrate programs with omnichannel platforms
Shoppers may be more likely to use the full amount on their gift cards if the store can accept payments in multiple locations. Today's consumers have demonstrated that they are less interested in interacting with brands through one exclusive channel. A recent article from CSP, a convenience store industry publication, highlighted the fact that developments in smartphone and tablet technology have made it even more necessary for retailers to invest in tools that makes it possible to accept credit card payments online. The publication revealed statistics from the Mercator Advisory Group that found consumers spent $22 billion in mobile e-commerce purchases alone in 2012.

People will likely appreciate the ability to save a trip to the store if they can simply use their gift card to purchase something from the same company online. Most retailers offer these items in the name of convenience for their target audiences. High-quality payment integration will also make life easier for managers who are responsible for keeping track of transaction data streaming in from several channels.

Nexus: G-WEBCD6