Gift cards continue to be a popular item for consumers. In 2009, Javelin Strategy & Research reported that 61 percent of U.S. consumers used gift or prepaid cards, and that number is only expected to grow. Yet, as more and more families connect via digital means more often, utilizing email and social networks, the traditional plastic card or paper gift certificate becomes more difficult to give. It just doesn’t fit as well into the new form of communication used between friends and family.
Redesign the Gift Card Experience
You don’t have to have a digital gift card offering to provide a differentiating gift card experience. There are a lot of things you can do to add a digital layer to your gift cards and certificates, and offer something special to shoppers who need a good gift idea.
One important way to make your gift card stand out is by offering personalization. Whether in print or online, personalization provides a way for the gift giver to feel like they gave something special, even it it is as generic as a gift card. You could provide such options as allowing your shoppers to customize either the look and feel of the card or certificate, or customize how the gift card is delivered to the recipient. The more you can make both the gift giver and the recipient feel special, the better the chances you have of capturing repeat business from both consumers.
You can learn more about how to personalize your gift card experience using digital means from the podcast above and in the August 2011 issue of Independent Retailer magazine.
Nikki Baird is Managing Partner at Retail Systems Research, an industry market intelligence firm specializing in the impact of technology on the extended retail industry. She focuses on trends impacting the consumer-retailer relationship, along with their supply chain and marketing implications.