Consumer Omnichannel Expectations
Google research shows that 98 percent of consumers switch between devices each day. Starting an order on one device like a desktop and completing it on a mobile device has become the norm. Additionally, studies by Marketing Week show that more than 15 years ago, the average consumer used just two touchpoints when buying an item, compared to more than four touchpoints being used today by nearly 50 percent of consumers. Consumers’ expectations are that gift cards have the same omnichannel experience, redeemable and purchasable, across all platforms at any time.
Why Merchants Need Omnichannel Gift Card Solutions
Omnichannel gift card solutions are not just for meeting the consumer’s expectations but offer a variety of benefits to a merchant’s business. Incorporating them not only puts customer experience at the center of a merchant’s strategy, but it also brings greater visibility of customer interactions across all channels to your single view. Retail, restaurant, and other service merchants with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89 percent of their customers compared to a retention rate of only 33 percent for companies with weak strategies.
Omnichannel gift card solutions support that strategy with features, including:
Works on all channels: There’s nothing more frustrating to a consumer than making it to the end of checkout only to find that a payment method is not available on a particular channel. The average cart abandonment rate is around 70 percent, with limited payment options being a key factor. Omnichannel gift card solutions can overcome this pain point.
Can purchase on all channels: If consumers can buy products on a channel, they want the ability to buy gift cards on that channel.
Plastic and e-gift: Consumers expect the choice. While plastic is a great option for buyers giving an in-person gift, the Amazon effect has increased the need for digital gift card solutions and the instant gratification that comes with their purchase.
Fully integrated with the point of sale, e-commerce, and mobile: Omnichannel gift card solutions give customers the ability to purchase and redeem gift cards on any platform. Additionally, this allows merchants to see data around these interactions, which they can use to improve the customer experience and target a subset of customers with related promotions or program incentives.
Contact-free options: The COVID-19 pandemic has been a driver of contactless transactions that are now the consumer’s expectation. E-gift cards support contactless and distanced transactions.
Real-time data: An omnichannel gift card solution allows customers to check balances in real time and then reload cards in a secure web portal. Merchants also have a centralized view of all customer interactions.
Fraud prevention: The best omnichannel gift card solutions are equipped with advanced measures to protect against lost, stolen, or fraudulent cards.
Branding and support: Merchants can easily incorporate branding into gift card designs. Additionally, the best program partners will offer custom design support, an online merchant portal to order, as well as reordering assistance.
The Upside of Satisfying the Convenience-Hungry Consumer
In 2021 and beyond, consumers will demand the customer experience of purchasing or redeeming gift cards across any platform. Beyond enhancing CX, merchants that build their gift card businesses could also see an increase in revenues. Consumers spend an average of 38 percent more than the value of a gift card at the time of redemption, and 70 percent of consumers spend double or more than the original value.
It’s also a good time to talk gift cards to your clients in verticals and niches, such as grocery, salon, fitness, and entertainment, to enable them to meet their customers’ demands for easy gift-giving and stored-value payments.
With an omnichannel solution, merchants of all types can use gift cards in innovative ways, from leveraging them in rewards and promotions to setting special expirations or conditions. Help your clients see the value and advantages that omnichannel gift card solutions provide in driving business success.