Retail Trends

Gift Cards: The Great Equalizer

When faced with the competition of national retailers, small businesses are constantly challenged to do more, with fewer resources. In addition to having a more creative and agile business strategy, the tools these small businesses use must be the most powerful and flexible on the market. 

Sure there are platforms that can automate marketing, website builders that make it easy for your brand to cement its digital space, and even point-of-sale systems that require just a few clicks to get up and running. All of these are essential,expected, (and often expensive) tools. But what if you could maximize the potential from something likely already in your product offering that most brands (even large national brands) drastically underutilize?   

Surprising as it may sound, the gift card has the potential to be the great equalizing tool for many small businesses and specialty retailers to succeed in this increasingly competitive landscape. Below are five ways your brand can use a gift card to meet the needs and expectations of today’s consumers—

Gift cards offer the following five unique benefits that can help equalize small and medium business opportunities with national brands:

  • The increased ability to account for out of stock items
    • For many customers, brand exclusivity and limited availability is one thing that draws in consumers. For smaller businesses, though, it is often difficult to find a balance of having enough items in stock to meet the need, without having a surplus. An easy solution? When a customer is looking for something out of stock, a gift card is the next best thing. Highlighting the availability of the gift cards in place of out of stock products gives customers another opportunity to spend with your brand rather than only leaving them with a disappointing “no.” 
  • An easy way to offer customer appeasement 
    • No matter how customer-centric your brand, or how well you’ve refined your systems to create a premium customer experience, sometimes things just go wrong and customers aren’t happy. By reserving small gift cards to offer at times like this, you can repair the brand-customer relationship and give the customer a perfect reason to return—to redeem their gift card. Plus, many reports indicate that when customers redeem their gift card, they spend $35-$56 above and beyond its value. 
  • A simple way for customers to share the brand
    • There is a reason that gift cards are one of the most requested gifts during the holiday season year after year. Simply offering a gift card and having clear messaging highlighting its availability can secure additional sales. If possible, try merchandising the gift card with other small value items to help customers gift a full brand experience.
  • An opportunity that is in-line with current consumer trends
  • Access to additional sales channels such as B2B and third party
    • Offering a gift card can open up numerous new sales channels. B2B and third party gift card programs can increase brand awareness and bring your brand to all new demographics. Additionally, they offer opportunities for rapid growth and are continually seeking out new brands. 

Many eCommerce and small business focused platforms such as Shopify make it easy to offer a gift card, and maximizing your strategy can genuinely set your brand apart. At Prizeout, we make it easier for merchants to use their gift cards to offer more, to reach more people, and have access to more data about their promotions.

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