A Miracle for Your Store: Gift Cards

Custom point of sale gift cards can be a fantastic way to boost your small business’ revenue, especially around the holidays. According to research from the National Retail Federation, 61 percent of people who received gift cards to a store spent more than the amount on the card. In fact, these purchases averaged $29 more than the value of the gift card.

However, many small businesses do not offer gift card programs due to the expense of implementing gift card technology. The NRF found that just 10 percent of small retailers offer gift cards, primarily because they don’t often integrate well with traditional point of sale services.

Retailers who choose mobile point of sale systems, however, are generally able to integrate POS gift cards more easily, with no extra costs.

For example, Instore, and other iPad point of sale companies, offer iPad point of sale gift cards, which can be read with the MagTek iDynamo credit card reader that is provided for free to customers that plan to process credit cards. Unlike credit card transactions, there are no processing fees for gift card transactions, and merchants are able to track each customer’s gift card balance online.

The process to set up and manage a gift card accounts on an iPad point of sale system is simple:

  • Create a “gift card” menu item in your point of sale system to enable you and your staff to sell gift cards.
  • To sell a gift card, swipe a plastic gift card through your credit card reader to activate it, then input the gift card balance and other customer information. The customer can then pay for the POS gift card using cash or credit card.
  • When a customer wants to pay for an item with a point of sale gift card, you can simply swipe the gift card through your credit card reader. The total bill will be deducted from the overall balance, with no transaction fees.
  • When the gift card balance reaches zero, the customer can “reload” it by using another payment form to add additional credit.

For small business owners, implementing a point of sale gift card program is a great way to encourage existing customers to introduce new customers by purchasing gift cards for the holidays or other special occasions. You can also offer small gift cards as special incentives for customers who make big purchases or visit your business frequently. It’s also possible to customize printed gift cards to match your store’s branding elements.

While there are many other considerations in choosing a point of sale system, gift card integration is an increasingly important factor — and in this case, iPad point of sale systems have the edge.