Posts Tagged ‘B2B gift cards’

Incentive Professionals Weigh in on the State of the Industry

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
13th Annual Incentive Industry Roundtable

Photo from IncentiveMag.com article, 13th Annual Incentive Industry Roundtable

Once again Incentive has gathered professionals from across the motivation and engagement realm to come together and discuss the state of the incentive industry.  Topics included a popular focus on retention and return on investment, the need for non-cash rewards, and a sense of what’s going on in the merchandise, gift card, and travel awards categories.

Here’s a peek at some of the discussions that went on this year in the big apple.

Motivating across all generations.

“Then we look at engagement initiatives and the multi-generational workforce that we have, we see that companies are realizing the importance of keeping their high potential, high-performing associates engaged.”
Tina Weede, President, US Motivation

“We have to continue to figure out how to draw in and motivate and reward and engage all the people across the entire organization.”
- Tim HoulihanVice President, Rewards Systems, BI WORLDWIDE

The type of rewards.

“The science makes a big difference. We’ve done research on cash versus non-cash that shows, empirically, that non-cash awards will change the level of production that you get out of someone, whether it’s sales or something else.”
- Lynn RandallManaging Member, Randall Insights; Education and Content Consultation, Incentive Research Foundation

“Here’s the difference that electronic gift cards have made to the incentive world: When it was merchandise-only, catalog recipients were told to wait four to six weeks to receive a reward. The [plastic] gift cards came into play, and it was five to seven business days. Now, we’re delivering rewards in less than an hour.”
- Dennis BorstPresident & COO, Patriot Marketing Group/Foot Locker Gift Card Sales

To learn more from the roundtable, check out the full article from Incentive Magazine here.

Increase Your Company’s Gift Card Sales

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

increase gift card salesIt’s a question many brands face.

How can I increase my company’s gift card sales?

Perhaps you already have a point-person in charge of gift cards, or you’re looking to adopt a gift card strategy for the first time.

Either way, the opportunity is grand.

Gift cards are a mainstay – more than half of U.S. households report receiving a gift card in the last 12 months, and 85% of those recipients redeem the cards within the same time frame.

Without a focused effort and a sound, smart plan for spreading the word and increasing awareness of your gift card program, it can be difficult to reach the many potential customers likely to be interested in your offer.

We just published a free guide that covers five of the key strategies we’ve used with our clients over the last several years.

From optimizing your in-store and online presence to thinking more strategically about third-party relationships and B2B programs, this guide is sure to help spark some ideas.

Let us know what you think!


Get Social with Employee Engagement

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Social media has become and integral part of all of our lives, whether we like it or not. Using social media to engage employees can be a great tool, it’s become a staple for many Americans in their day to day routine and requires voluntary participation by definition. Here are four great ways to use social media to stimulate employee engagement, no matter your organizations size.

  1. Solicit Feedback: Use social tools to solicit feedback from your employees. It doesn’t have to be public or identifiable to any one employee. Sending out an anonymous survey where employees can track the results in real time can make them feel like their voice is being heard and gives you the chance to see where the majority public opinion lies.
  2. Respect Privacy: Not all employees are social, or will want to use social outlets for certain topics. For employees who aren’t comfortable using these channels, make sure you provide private outlets to engage in a way that works for them. No two employees will engage exactly the same way, listen to your people and give them what they want.
  3. Score Yourself: Set goals for employee engagement, and adjust your program as you go. If it falls flat in the first iteration, follow up with engaged employees offline and find out what’s going on. An employee engagement program can’t be successful without the employees’ buy in. Be flexible, make adjustments and optimize.
  4. Reward Participation: When employees engage in the program you’ve outlined, reward them! If one employee sees another get a gift card to a popular retailer like AutoZone, Crutchfield or CVS/pharmacy, it’s safe to assume the desired behavior will be repeated.

For more information on how to make your employee engagement program social, check out Incentive Magazine’s guide.

2013 Key Holiday Gift Card Trends

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) recently released their Holiday Gift Card Trend Tracker Survey results, and there are some great notes for our retail and merchant clients, and for our B2B gift card customers as well.

How are retailers approaching this year’s news that consumers will spend less during the holidays  this year than last? The RGCA states, “…despite the tight wallets, there is a silver lining for many retailers: retail gift cards.” They found in their survey that 73% of consumers will spend less this holiday shopping season, while 74% will buy and give at least one, and as many as five, gift cards as gifts.

GCP’s customers, B2B gift card buyers, purchase gift cards in bulk and can also be pleased with these trends. Whatever consumers are doing, B2B buyers will want to be aware of and follow suit.

Key Trends for Retail Gift Cards graphic

 

Whether you are a retailer looking for the latest gift card trends
or a B2B gift card buyer, you’ll want to
check out the RGCA’s Full White Paper and Report.

 

6 Misconceptions About eGift Cards

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

At GiftCard Partners, we have been working hard to help gift card brands navigate the complicated eGifting technology landscape in their journey to offer eGift Cards. We’ve found that even though retailers accept that they will find new incremental gift card sales with early adoption, they have not rushed to do so. Forbes.com reports 70% of the retailers, recently evaluated in a CashStar study, now offer digital or “eGift cards”. This is up from 60% in 2011 and 40% in 2010. This is good news for consumers as we rely more and more on technology to organize our lives, but for retailers looking to offer eGift cards in the B2B marketplace; technology is a bit more complicated.

But let’s get back to the important questions retailers ask themselves of their gift card program when preparing to go digital…”should we offer eGift cards yet?” Or “should we be early adopters or should we wait for other retailers to figure it out”? Chain Store Age online offers us their Top 6 Misconceptions About eGift Cards and debunks them. Click to read on, the rebuttals, it will surprise you!

1. “eGift Cards will only cannibalize our existing gift card sales”
2. “Fraud in eGift Cards is too pervasive”
3. “Our IT department can build this internally”
4. “The technology is unproven”
5. “Customer adoption isn’t there yet”
6. “New hardware will be required in all stores”

If you are a retailer looking to “go digital” with your gift cards, Gift Card Partners can help with our RFP  Management service. We embrace the tricky work of renegotiating existing vendor relationships, and help retailers implementing new relationships, with: card supplies, processors, payment systems providers, and more.  >>Learn more about our Services Suite designed to improve your gift card program.

Retail Trends Shift Towards Corporate Gift Cards

Monday, November 11th, 2013

It’s no secret that corporate incentives are a hot topic for retailers and merchants this year, and adding fuel to that fire is the release of the Incentive Federation’s “Incentive Market Study” this week. The study showed that U.S. businesses are spending nearly $77 billion on employee rewards and incentives in the form of travel, merchandise and gift cards.

Corporate gift card programs are shifting to be an important retail trend, as B2B gift cards not only open up another avenue for incremental sales growth, but they also act as a catalyst for customer acquisition, brand growth and bulk buying.

As one of largest developers of corporate gift card programs, GiftCard Partners helps our clients navigate through this fast growing and high demanding corporate market. Interested in learning more about building your presence in with B2B customers? We’d love to hear from you!

Corporate Gift Cards: HOT topic for the 2013 Incentive Roundtable

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Incentive Magazine gathered professionals from across the motivation, recognition, travel, and rewards spectrum to come together for a discussion on the state of the incentive industry. Corporate gift cards, or, gift cards used in the corporate environment portion of the B2B marketplace was a hot topic!

In their interview, Incentive Magazine posed the question, “How is the gift card market doing?,” the panel had some interesting views on corporate gift card use.

  • Gift card denominations are decreasing, being used more for a tool that rewards behavior, as micro rewards or incentives
  • Reward and incentive program participants are choosing gift cards over cash seven-to-one
  • Gift cards are outweighing other staple rewards like iPad bundles and travel vouchers, with 75-80% of recipients opting for the gift card

Read the full article from Incentive Magazine here.

GiftCard Partners U.S. Survey on Gift Card Usage On-Demand Webcast

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Please join GiftCard Partners (GCP) as we present results from a U.S. poll we commissioned with Shapiro Research to gain a pulse on gift card usage featuring Melina Balboni, vice president marketing and business development, GCP. Attendees will learn about:

  • Incidence and frequency of gift card receipt and redemption
  • New insight on how gift cards motivate store visits and purchases
  • Gift cards acquired through B2B channels, and
  • The answer to the all-important question: do gift cards generate incremental business for merchants?

Proud of New England, Proud of our Client – CVS Caremark

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

I’m a native Rhode Islander and proud that CVS hails from Little Rhodie. I’m also a Boston Lover, living in Boston proper and the suburbs for almost 20 years. I love seeing generosity for special support projects, but this one touches our hearts at GiftCard Partners with our headquarters located approximately ½ through the Boston Marathon Route. CVS/pharmacy is our client and we seek to represent the best of the best retailers in the U.S. to promote and sell their gift cards into the B2B market.

We are very proud of how our client has stepped up in support of the victims and families affected by the Boston bombings. CVS Caremark and CVS/pharmacy has donated over $750,000 to The One Fund Boston.

Proud to be local to this wonderful place and all the companies and people willing to help! Check out: CVS Caremark Donates Over $750,000 to The One Fund Boston Month-long in-store fundraising campaign in Boston-area CVS/pharmacy locations raises more than $650,000 to support victims of Boston Marathon attack CVS Caremark’s private foundation previously donated $100,000 to The One Fund Boston

Meeting the Challenge of the RIGHT Incentives for Employee Recognition

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

An increasingly diverse and remote workforce brings many challenges to management teams when strategizing and coordinating employee programs such as employee recognition programs. Layer on that the need for employers to show their recognition of workplace diversity and appreciation for individualism, and the challenges multiply. This is why employers increasingly offer gift cards as incentives and rewards within employee recognition programs, as the recipients can redeem with their own choices.

The IGCC rounds it up well: “gift cards empower the recipient with the right to choose the item that most motivates himself or herself”.  Ceridian states that 8 out of 10 employees prefer gift cards over other incentives. This preference rewards for hard work they’ve done and motivates them to keep it up. The simplicity of gift cards has also helps management deliver programs quicker and with relevance and care to the participants. There is a significant time savings in the decision making process…..another important cost savings benefit of gift cards.

Also important; purchasing gift cards in bulk offers employers volume discounts. Learn more about how gift cards are used as corporate wellness incentives, healthcare program incentives, and loyalty rewards.