According to a recent report by Forrester, "Gift Card And Stored Value Initiatives: Elevate With A Mix Of Old And New Technologies," gift cards and stored value initiatives are becoming increasingly important for retailers looking to stay ahead in today's digital landscape. With a mix of old and new technologies, these initiatives have the power to elevate your business and drive growth.
Gift cards and stored value programs offer benefits like increased customer loyalty, improved customer experience, and increased revenue for businesses.
The report emphasizes the importance of leveraging both old and new technologies. This includes traditional plastic gift cards as well as digital options like e-gift cards and mobile wallets.
In the dynamic realm of customer loyalty programs, gift cards have emerged as a linchpin, transforming the way businesses engage with their clientele. Gone are the days of traditional plastic gift cards as consumers increasingly lean towards digital payment options like PayPal and Cash App. This seismic shift in preferences underscores the importance of adapting to the evolving demands of modern consumers.
This evolution reflects a shift in consumer preferences, with an emphasis on ease and immediacy. It's a world that values instant gratification, and these digital payment options deliver just that.
However, the story does not end here. A balance between the old and new is being sought after, catering to consumers' demands and preferences for both digital and physical gift cards. It's this blend of tradition and innovation that is shaping the future of customer loyalty programs.
Savvy merchants are continuously thinking of ways to engage their audience and see loyalty programs as key. Look no further than quick-service restaurants, where companies like Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, Dunkin’ and Panera are offering loyalty points and rewards to keep hungry patrons at their doors.
At the core of these loyalty programs is the concept of a stored value container. Merchants are now able to combine previously disparate accounts, such as gift, reward points, CPG and/or product rebates, and health & wellness into the digital wallet to drive engagement and increase loyalty, no matter where the consumer’s shopping journey begins or ends. The Walmart Pay app is a prime example of a digital wallet specifically created for buying experiences at Walmart stores, via their app, or online.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms are also gaining momentum in this digital age. Their rising popularity signifies a fundamental change in how consumers interact with their finances. Digital wallets, part and parcel of these P2P platforms, simplify the process of storing, valuing, and using various credit, gift, and debit cards. The convenience they offer is unparalleled, ushering in a new era of financial transactions.
The benefits of mobile wallets over physical cards are manifold. Security threats are mitigated, fraud is reduced, and identity theft is curbed. It's a safer, more secure way of managing finances, bringing peace of mind to consumers worldwide. Backing up these observations are statistics and insights that paint a clear picture of the evolution of gift cards in the modern commerce landscape. According to PaymentsJournal, a notable 87% of Americans are more engaged in rewards programs, thanks to gift cards. Runa.io further points out that gift cards offer high "surprise and delight" opportunities, strengthening the connection between loyal customers and brands.
Meanwhile, research by 99minds indicates that loyalty programs and gift cards incentivize customers to stay engaged with a brand, leading to increased repeat purchases. All these findings underline the importance of gift cards in customer loyalty programs, reinforcing their role as a crucial tool for businesses to retain and engage customers.
The narrative of gift cards has evolved, reflecting a shift in consumer behavior and technological advancements. They have become a crucial part of customer loyalty programs, bridging the gap between businesses and their customers. As the landscape continues to change, businesses that adapt and cater to consumer preferences will be the ones leading the way into the future.