AdTech merchants Retail Trends Uncategorized

Using Unspent Gift Cards to Grow Your Brand

With CNN reporting there are over $21 billion of unspent gift cards in the U.S. alone, there comes a great opportunity for brands to utilize these funds to activate their audience and engage with new customers. Though it might be easy to think of these as “lost” funds due to passive consumer behavior, Holly Glowaty (Prizeout’s Co-Founder and Chief Partnerships Officer) believes differently. According to Holly, there are actually many potential benefits for brands to take up this responsibility themselves rather than waiting for these customers to use their forgotten gift cards. Here are just a few ideas Holly believes brands could utilize to grow not just their gift card program, but their business as a whole.

Change the Way Customers Think About Gift Cards

When people think about gift cards, they typically think about — you guessed it — gifts. It makes sense. After all, ‘gift’ is in its name. However, what if gift cards weren’t just for gifts, but were used for your own wants and needs? At Prizeout, we’ve noticed some interesting customer behavior on this topic. In fact, our research shows that when customers purchase a gift card for themselves, rather than for someone else, they spend the money faster and they spend more of it. As a brand, if you can get a customer to use their gift card, they will typically spend 30 – 50% more than the value of that card. So why is this important? Well… it’s easy money.

If we can simply change the misconception behind gift cards that they are primarily for gifts, we can actually expect to see more gift card sales, redemptions, and revenue. But why haven’t they come to this realization themselves? Perhaps because many brands haven’t. Think about it this way, gift cards are likely the only area of your business your customers have money that is sitting around, earmarked for use exclusively with you. This makes gift cards much more than a simple piece of plastic or a code sent via email, they are a form of brand currency. They are a customer acquisition tool. They are an engagement tool. It’s incredibly possible that they best way to grow your gift card program is to realize you’ve been thinking about it incorrectly this entire time.

Insert Gift Card Copy Into Your Advertising

Okay, so let’s say we’ve changed the overall perception behind gift cards. Customers will still probably forget gift cards every once in a while, right? So how do we stop them from forgetting? Simple. Don’t let them. Keep gift cards at the forefront of their mind. Work copy into your advertising to not just purchase gift cards, but also to remember to actually use them. Additionally, gift cards are harder to forget about when they’re stored in a place like a digital wallet. Whenever possible, try to get your customers to store your gift cards in one of these spaces. Remember, customers are very busy and usually easily distracted. Keep their minds on the cards through constant educations and reminders in every possible aspect of your messaging.

Think About Gift Cards as the Ultimate Way to Track Customer Engagement

Let’s stay on the topic of advertising. Think about all the ways you advertise to your customers. How many of them truly allow you direct insight into exactly how and when your customers are engaging with you? We’re willing to bet the number isn’t very high. Gift cards, on the other hand, offer exactly that. Consider leveraging them with deals that offer a certain percentage or dollar amount more with the purchase of a gift card. Or perhaps a bonus code. Whatever offers works best for your means. As long as it involves asking your customers to assign money to a gift card to your brand, you’re sure to come out on top.

Take the Initiative

Remember, these customers are likely not going to remember and use these gift cards themselves. If they were, there wouldn’t be $21 billion of gift cards lying unspent. Instead, it’s up to the brands to educate and remind these customers about gift cards, constantly reminding them to stay active and engaged. And if you’re looking for another easy way to acquire new customers using your gift cards programs, contact Prizeout today.

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