Retail, restaurant, and services gift cards have been given new life in the digital era. This formerly low-tech holdover from the days when your local Blockbuster was a cutting-edge entertainment provider is now a dynamic, multi-channel way to generate new business and inspire customer loyalty.
Gift cards are among the most popular presents of the holiday season and new digital versions fit seamlessly into your point of sale system, increasing your reach, appeal, and even insight into your own business.
If your gift card POS solution has all the right functions, you can add a proven sales accelerator to your offerings this year.
From Blockbuster to On-Demand Retail
Gift cards have been with us since that faded movie rental giant introduced them in the 1990s, and their value has only increased due to the digital advances that ultimately killed off their originator.
In 2019, around 80% of consumers received a gift card during the holiday season. What is more, the average gift card recipient went on to spend around $30 more than the value of the card once they redeem it.
To make the most of this shopping phenomenon though, you have to make sure your gift card POS program can perform the following key functions:
- Personalized branding
- Physical, digital, online and in-store purchase and redemption
- Scanning options to suit your POS preferences
- Reloadable for repeat sales
- Links to loyalty programs
- Data science for more effective sales
With these features, you can link your gift card program to your existing POS system and seamlessly introduce a whole new shopping incentive to your offerings.
Gift Card + POS System
A digital POS system is an all-in-one platform that can control your entire business. By turning your cash register into an iPad-powered, multimedia, cloud-computing hub you can link all your transactions, purchase orders, staff management tasks, and accounting needs across a touch-screen simple network.
Your gift card program should be able to fit right alongside your other products within this POS system so it can be accessed by your customers as easily as their favorite items.
Tying the gift card program to your existing workflows also lets you take advantage of the following premium options only available through a flexible digital platform.
1. Personalized Branding
Gift cards carry your good name out into the wider world. It is a form of advertising and it’s important the brand, logo, and personality of your business are properly represented as the cards are passed around someone’s circle of influence.
You should have options around the quality of the plastic, the vibrancy of the logo, and the display of digital fonts and messaging. Your gift card should reflect your values and generate some excitement about the retail experience yet to come.
2. Physical, Digital, Online, and In-Store Purchase and Redemption
Customers are as varied in their physical approach to retail as they are in their tastes. The digital age means your store is accessible online as often as a customer gets to thinking about making a purchase. Your gift card POS offering should be available for both purchase and redemption via every avenue to your products. That means online and in-store availability and physical or digital cards.
You should also be able to sell and accept gift cards across a range of payment forms, from cash to cardless smartphone wallet options.
3. Scanning Options to Suit Your POS Preferences
Your gift cards are as much a product in your catalog as any other item on offer. As such, they have to fit in with your inventory and your POS devices. The leading gift card POS systems can be tailored to fit your existing solution so you don’t have to buy new equipment.
You should get a choice of physical card connections, either through magstripe, standard scanner, or QR code technology. You can then match your gift cards to the devices you’re already using to track stock and accept payments
4. Reloadable for Repeat Sales
A gift card itself, be it digital or physical, is just a link between a customer and your POS platform. Like a key that unlocks a door, the card is a way of accessing a shopper’s personal history with your store. If you want, you can continue to build on that store of data by allowing the customer to reload their gift card and continue using it—which is the same as taking payments in advance of purchase.
Alternatively, you may want to leave the gift card as a once-off basic introduction and encourage the customer to make more of a commitment by signing up for long-term incentives.
5. Links to Loyalty Programs
As effective as they can be in generating sales and spreading the windfall of the holiday season out over time, gift cards are quite low-tech for the ultra-digital 2020s. You can capitalize on the gift card momentum however and use it to build a longer-lasting bond with your customer by tying it directly to a customer loyalty program.
Loyalty programs go beyond the anonymity of a gift to capture more customer information and purchasing data, and they have greater sticking power by rewarding repeat visits over time.
6. Data Science for More Effective Sales
A gift card is a double transaction that offers twice the insights into the people who are interested in your products and retail experiences. By embedding your program within your overall POS solution and getting a few details at both the time of sale and the time of redemption you can track the volume, popularity, and timing of gift sales.
This information can be added to the overall data you collect from every sale to create a comprehensive picture of how your business generates income. This highly accessible form of data science is increasingly becoming a standard feature of POS systems, and gives the average retailer business insights that reduce spend and improve sales.
Premium Gift Cards with the Right POS Partner
As with each of the must-have gift card POS requirements listed above, having the option to adapt your gift program to your unique business lets you take full advantage of a new era of gift card opportunities.
The gift card solutions created by talech offer a natural extension of your POS system to maximize the impact of your holiday season sales. We use detailed information from your business to create an innovative program that capitalizes on your appeal and offerings.