It’s time to embrace gift codes because gift certificates are a thing of the past, like beepers and dial-up internet. In today’s tech-savvy world, there is no product as successful, or as in demand as gift cards/codes. They have become a multi-billion dollar industry growing at an annual rate of 200%.
More than $100 billion is spent on gift cards each year, and with innovations like Virtual Gift Cards, Mobile Gift Cards, and aftermarket Gift Card sales, the future forecast is stronger than ever. CEB Global has estimated the total spent on Gift Cards in 2018 will reach $160 billion.
In a study from InComm (a prepaid product and transition service provider) 100% of consumers say they gave at least 1 gift card in 2016 and 92% said they gifted 2 or more.
This industry appeals to all age groups and has become available in more forms than one.
Consumers today have the option to purchase:
Physical Gift Cards
are the plastic cards you physically hold and keep in your wallet, but are only growing at a rate of 5-6%.
Virtual Gift Cards
(also known as Digital and e-Gift Cards) Are emailed or texted to the recipient. These contain a code or a link the recipient must click to “claim” the code.
Mobile Gift Cards
Are Virtual Cards delivered to a web-enabled phone with a bar-code or code that can be scanned by the point of sale terminal. They are sent from app to app so the recipient must download the app to access the card for use.
People can’t go wrong purchasing a gift card, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Physical cards are still popular since they are well known, used, and accepted by any retailer; however, 50% of people prefer to have Virtual Gift Cards scanned from their phone instead of carrying around a printout or plastic card with the risk of losing it or having it stolen.
Retailers and financial institutions prioritize Gift Cards as central to their strategies for gaining a share of customers’ wallets. Offering Virtual Gift Cards is a great way to boost traffic online and in-store. They also reduce the volume of returns, which means less time and money are spent on processing the returns. If someone forgets it or never spends it, retailers don’t lose anything on the sale.
Companies with a current Gift Card program in place make small adjustments year over year or do nothing at all. This lets merchants who are just starting to offer Gift Cards shoot into first place by utilizing the best features.
Some of the Best Features a company can provide when offering gift cards are:
- Design Variety
- Ease of Delivery
- Ease of Redemption
- Scheduling Delivery Option
- Flexible Dollar Amount
- Notification and Reminders
- Low or No Fees
PayWhirl’s Virtual Gift Card program offers all of those features.
The different uses for Gift Cards recently exploded and are being driven by experience instead of purchase. Popularity is evolving beyond gift giving; using Gift Cards as your companies “Branded Currency” is becoming the new trend. According to a study by NAPCO half of all merchants* offered gift card promotions and/or used them as incentives in marketing programs within the last year. *Top 100 merchants in US and Canada
Offering gift codes provide a way to connect customers to loyalty/reward programs. It also allows merchants to entice customers with incentives and discount benefits when purchasing a Gift Card. 3 out of 4 consumers prefer to redeem points, miles, and cash back rewards for gift codes/cards.
84% of Businesses Use gift codes/gift cards For Employee Rewards or Incentives
They offer a more profound sense of satisfaction since receiving a Gift Card is immediate. You aren’t receiving a gift you don’t want or need, there’s no time spent waiting for a check in the mail, and there isn’t a return or exchange factor.
Purchasing gift cards or codes for intangible experiences is growing strong among current demographics because people like to give what they want for themselves. One of the newest trends in this segment is a gift to a subscription service. This includes intangible experiences like a subscription to wine tasting, concert tickets, spa treatments, etc. These types of gifts can be more personal and memorable for the recipient and more accessible for the giver.
PayWhirl is now offering Virtual Gift Codes.
Customers can purchase Virtual Gift Codes for any occasion and get all the best features listed above. The recipient gets a Virtual Gift Code with a prepaid balance, delivered via email, with the option to manage their own account.
Existing customers can purchase gifts for others within their customer portal too, by saving multiple “profiles.” This works similar to Amazon’s customer profile, where you can save various profiles with independent shipping and billing information. This way, it is easy for your loyal customers to share your products with their friends and family.
Offering virtual gift codes or gift cards benefits everyone involved. They are a secure financial transaction option, allow digital flexibility, and amass brand awareness and loyalty. Gift Card programs not only increase sales by creating new opportunities, but they also streamline marketing effects and are a gold mine for collecting and tracking data.
With 97% of customers redeeming Gift Cards and 75% Overspending the value by an average of $38, don’t you want to be in on the profits?
Come see how PayWhirl can help your company set up a Virtual Gift Card Program!