Small businesses alleviate holiday stress with gift card programs
November 25, 2013

Gift card programs are a small enterprise's best friend when it comes to the holiday shopping season. Then again, a large majority of consumers across North America appreciate them as well.

According to a recent survey conducted by Staples Canada, in which the company interviewed more than 1,500 Canadian adults, 2 out of 3 respondents claimed they have an especially hard time figuring what to buy for their friends and family during the holidays. In fact, 9 in 10 claimed they regularly encounter people in their lives who fall under the category of "ungiftable." The report also found 89 percent of shoppers struggle when searching for gifts for at least one person on their list.

Consumers aren't the only ones worried about the holiday shopping season. A recent article published on the online news website Lehigh Valley Business cited data from the "2013 American Express Open Holiday Monitor" that found only 30 percent of small-business retailers expect this season to generate strong sales revenue. Thirty-four percent said they anticipate their year-end sales to be weak in comparison to previous years.

What can quell the fears of both shoppers and business owners during the holidays?

Gift card programs keep on giving
Rather than worrying about sales numbers, inventory and all of the other logistical challenges associated with preparing to satisfy customer needs throughout the last few weeks of the year, store owners can invest in dynamic gift card programs that eliminate stress and create new opportunities for revenue. Allowing shoppers to purchase a flexible item that can be used to buy virtually anything in-store is a smart retail move for the following reasons:

  • It reduces the risk of losing business to competitors. Keeping shelves fully stocked for such a short season can be expensive - especially for smaller enterprises that already have limited resources. Offering gift card programs to customers who would otherwise walk away to a different store will likely lead to a significant boost in long-term sales.
  • Gift card programs can be easily connected with electronic payment systems. Processing transactions made with these devices becomes simple and stress-free with the right payment integration system in place.
  • Small businesses can also help customers reduce the anxiety associated with buying gifts for friends and family. When people have a variety of options to choose from, they may be more likely to return in the future.
Nexus: G-WEBCD4