You’re probably thinking, here we go again somebody is trying to sell me something that I really don’t need. I’m sure it will benefit them, but will it benefit me? Firstly let me say that my company, Solutions Ink does sell gift and loyalty cards. The market out there while huge is certainly not for anyone. Who then are these cards good for?
These cards are great for chain stores with multiple locations and for stores with very loyal repeat customers. Why are these stores, prime candidates? First, let’s examine the large chain stores. Today more than ever people’s disposable time is very limited. Buying a gift for someone takes time and effort in researching a product the person might enjoy and then finding the right size and color. Today everybody is looking for convenience. It takes 2 minutes at a cash register to get a gift card. Firstly the price you want to pay is exactly the amount on the card. If the recipient wants something more expensive, they can simply add to it. The recipient can spend his time finding the right size and color and shop when he or she wants the item.
As far as the store goes, they know that once they’ve sold you the gift card, the sale is coming. Their cash flow is improved because the cash sits in their bank account till you use it. More importantly, a growing percentage of people who receive these cards never use them. Lastly, most people end up spending more than their gift cards in the store. The question really isn’t why should I invest in gift cards but rather why I am not running out to purchase them?
Another great reason is due to the technological revolution. With bar codes and mag stripes affixed on the back of the cards, the stores are now able to capture important information about the end-user. They can see who uses them, what they use them for and create new marketing campaigns targeted to these people and uses to get an even larger percentage of these people’s discretionary income.
The second type of person is a smaller business store that is trying to direct more traffic to their store. A new twist on these gift cards is actually selling the cards at a discount or partnering up with some loyalty card company to offer them as rewards. Whatever discount they give either to the purchaser or to the loyalty card program is easily made up of the benefits of the cards, whether it be directed new sales, never used cards, or getting their customer to spend more than the gift card amount.