Undoubtedly, selling gift cards from October through December each year is a smart move for your clients. They were the preferred holiday gifts among 54 percent of people in 2022, and everyone knows they’re easy purchases – especially compared to tracking down a particular item and getting it in time for a holiday event. A Fiserv study found 58 percent of consumers planned to purchase a gift card as an alternative to a physical product last year. And when there’s a promotion attached, that number increases to 62 percent of consumers.
In addition, the gift card market is positioned for growth. ResearchAndMarkets.com reports that by 2026, the gift card industry in the United States will reach $259,728.1 million, increasing at a CAGR of 8.3 percent over the next four years. Analysts base that prediction, in part on online gift card sales growing over the last four to eight quarters – not just in Q4.
Gift Cards Are Not Just for Winter Holidays
Surveys of gift card purchases reveal some interesting information. Birthdays are actually the most popular gift card-giving occasion, topping the list for 57 percent of consumers, followed by graduations.
Other popular occasions for gift card giving include:
- Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
- And to say “thank you”
Gift cards are also a favorite choice for corporate gifts and employee incentives, representing 37 percent of gifts.
The bottom line is that merchants have the opportunity to sell gift cards all year long, and you can help them maximize sales with an omnichannel gift card solution.
In-Demand Features of Omnichannel Gift Card Solutions
When merchants are ready to hear their options for a gift card solution implementation or upgrade, make sure you discuss the advantages of an omnichannel solution, including:
- Sell and Accept Gift Cards Across Any Shopping Channel
Consumers are shopping in-store, online, and via mobile applications. If you merchants sell there, then they need to sell and accept gift cards there.
- Security and Fraud Prevention
Merchants need the assurance of a gift card solution with built-in fraud prevention tools like monitoring and detection as well as user authentication techniques.
- Integration with Loyalty and Rewards Programs
Consumers want the ability to incorporate gift card balances into their loyalty and rewards program apps. For merchants, this enables better data visibility and insights into consumer shopping behavior, particularly around promotions.
- Substitute Gift Cards for Physical Returns
Whether it was a physical item that a consumer self-purchased or received as a gift, having the option to issue a gift card for an in-store or online return helps keep consumers happy while also keeping the dollars spent with the merchant and not a competitor.
What Merchants Need in a Gift Card Solution
When selling gift card solutions, VARs and ISVs should look for a solutions partner that not only has the features to meet consumer expectations but offers the functionality that will best support merchant business goals and processes including:
- White Labeling: Merchants need to be able to white-label all aspects of gift card solutions from print and digital cards to the reporting dashboard and virtual terminal.
- Centralized Reporting: Transactions of all types are available 24/7 from a reporting dashboard.
- Alternative Gift Payments: Provide merchants with the ability to integrate with payment solutions to accept more payment types including alternative gift payments such as QR Code, text-to-pay, online ordering, and more.
- Easy Migration: A gift card solutions provider should support an easy migration to and from dozens of third-party gift services.
Datacap Gift for Any Occasion
Gift card solutions can unlock many business opportunities for VARs and ISVs and their clients. However, an innovative partner that can integrate with point of sale (POS) and payment solutions while providing the robust reporting and support service merchants need will be critical.