Gift card sales in the U.S. have grown consistently over the past several years, reaching record sales of an estimated $130 billion in 2015, an increase of more than 6% from 2014. For nine years in a row, gift cards were the most requested gift during this past holiday season. (One in six Americans received a Starbucks gift card during the 2015 holiday!)
Imagine if one in six people within a ten mile radius of your small business received a gift card to your establishment. That would add up, and quickly. However the technology required to offer and accept customized gift cards has long eluded the small business owner.
Today’s mPOS technology has finally made gift cards not only a possibility, but a robust marketing option for small business. Consider the following incentives to including gift cards in your business plan.
Why Gift Cards Are Important To Your Customers
They are practical. Nearly one quarter of gift givers purchase gift cards instead of more traditional presents because of convenience.
They are thoughtful. A whopping 58.8% of shoppers said that they would like to receive a gift card, making them the most requested gift item nine years in a row.
They are convenient. No wrapping or packaging. Gift cards are great for corporate gifts and personal ones.
Millennials love them. For the generation that never carries cash, gift cards are a great way to be treated by a friend or loved one. 89% of Millennials want gift cards, and 73% prefer them from a favorite store or restaurant (that’s you!).
Why Gift Cards Are Great for Small Business
Gift cards get them in the door. Where to go for lunch or shop for a new scarf or skis? A gift card in the wallet makes the decision easy.
Redemptions are higher than the original value. Here are some happy numbers for you––61% of gift card holders spend more than the amount of their gift card. The average gift card user ends up spending an extra 20% beyond the value of the card.
They are marketable. Talk to other local business leaders and build an employee gift program around the holidays or birthdays. Consider giving a 10% discount on the value of the gift card when businesses buy in bulk––you’ll make it back in spades and become the local favorite.
It’s another addition to your database. Upon redemption, add the contact info of your new (or returning) customer. Once they are in your system, you are able to market specifically to their buying habits and deepen customer loyalty.
Today’s mPOS technology not only enables a robust point of sale system for restaurants and retailers, it also allows for customizable features and enables small business to finally get into the gift card game. You don’t have to be Starbucks to up the marketing stakes with gift cards anymore. Consumers want them, and by switching to mPOS technology, you too can have gift cards at the ready.