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Use Cases for Omnichannel Gift Card Solutions

Gift Card use casesMore than ever before, consumers are using more than one channel to shop. In the not-so-distant past, the average customer used only two touchpoints with a merchant. However, consumers now regularly use six. And just as consumers expect to interact and shop with merchants seamlessly on all channels, they also expect their gift cards to work anywhere they choose to shop, and with any device they’re using. One indicator is how consumers are using gift cards. According to a study by the Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA), digital gift card use has increased by 50 percent since 2019. As a result, omnichannel gift card solutions – technology that allows merchants to sell and accept gift cards and customers to use them on any channel – are in greater demand.

However, merchants may have other reasons for inquiring about omnichannel gift card solutions. Data from gift card solutions can also give merchants information on consumer behaviors, help them enhance loyalty programs and promotions, and increase revenues.

Omnichannel Gift Card Use Cases

Merchants can offer – and benefit – from gift cards in a variety of ways:

  • Physical gift cards
    Many customers prefer traditional plastic gift cards for in-person gifts. They purchase them near checkout counters, load them at the point of sale (POS), and even wrap them in boxes or enclose them in folders specially designed for gift giving. Furthermore, recipients use them at the checkout, much like a credit card and can refill them when the balance runs low.

    For your clients, physical gift cards are an excellent way to promote their brands with custom-designed cards that consumers carry in their wallets. If you enable merchants to use a gift card solution with a virtual terminal, you give merchants and their customers to check balances and load new and existing cards easily and conveniently. Merchants also get a revenue boost from gift cards; Clutch reports that 70 percent of shoppers will spend more than the value of the gift card when they use it.

  • Virtual gift cards
    Electronic gift cards allow merchants to capitalize on the growing e-commerce trend and keep up with larger competitors. These solutions enable consumers to purchase gift cards from an e-commerce website, send them via email, and use them on digital channels or with a mobile wallet in a physical store. Like their physical counterparts, digital gift cards can be beautifully branded uniquely for the merchant and keep the store, shop or restaurant top of mind for the consumer.

  • Alternative gift payments
    Gift card solutions are now available that allow consumers to leverage even more channels for gift card giving. With the right solution, your clients’ customers can send gift “cards” via text. The text link takes the recipient to an online page where they can claim a gift card and click a link to use the gift.

    Alternately, merchants can choose a solution that uses QR code technology to send gifts. The recipient scans a printed or digital code to claim the balance, use it or add it to an existing account.

  • Multi-merchant support
    If your client has multiple stores or franchises, you need to enable consumers to use gift cards at any location. Back-end management includes crediting gift cards and redemption to the proper location while creating seamless experiences as customers purchase, send, and use gift cards.

  • Gift Card Promotions
    Gift cards can also be used in effective promotions. For example, physical or e-gift cards with expiration dates can be used as an incentive to encourage customers who’ve gone dark to return or to boost sales during graduation season, Father’s Day, or holiday events. Gift cards are also a quick and easy way to reward loyalty program members for their continued business or for answering surveys or providing feedback.

    Omnichannel gift cards marketed to parents offer convenient ways for parents to fill and refill cards for children and college students, allowing them to ensure they have the funds to purchase necessary items – or to treat themselves.

  • Community engagement
    When your client is approached for a donation for a fundraising event, branded gift cards are a perfect solution for increasing brand awareness. Merchants can also partner with other local businesses, for example, a restaurant and a hotel, to offer packages that include gift cards that delight customers and boost revenues for both brands.

What VARs and ISVs need to know

The days of providing separate solutions for digital and in-person engagements are long gone. Consumers don’t want the inconvenience of switching from one account or card to another or using a gift card on only one channel, and more consumers prefer to store their cards in their mobile wallets.

As a trusted business advisor, you also need to remind merchants that enabling gift cards on new channels in new ways may also create opportunities for fraud. Ensure that regardless of the channel or type of card, the solution you provide includes measures to protect the user and your client from fraud. Furthermore, merchants need a provider with expertise and a willingness to work with them to achieve their goals for a gift card revenue stream.

To learn how to deliver the omnichannel gift card solutions your clients need, contact Datacap Systems.

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