Posts Tagged ‘bulk gift cards’

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.


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?

2013 Consumer Gift Card Attitudes Survey

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Gift cards are a hot topic when it comes to corporate rewards, employee incentives, customer loyalty, fundraising programs and more. Still many are asking, “Are gift cards the right choice?”

The Retail Gift Card Association answers the question with the strong YES, according to the findings in their most recent survey. The survey asked over 1,000 consumers about their attitudes, behaviors and preferences when it comes to both receiving and giving gift cards. Here are a few interesting statistics that encompass the over feeling towards the plastic money gift:

  • 28.6% plan to give newlyweds a gift card to a home improvement store this summer, which is a higher percentage than spa/leisure, restaurant, retailer or online gift cards
  • 73.2% prefer to give a retail gift card when giving a gift from a group of people
  • 50.9% like GIVING retail gift cards because they are convenient, and 64.3% like they can be assured the recipient will be able to purchase what they prefer
  • 84.6% like RECEIVING retail gift cards because they can purchase what they want 

Check out more findings from the survey here.

Gift cards are a great tool for a large number of programs, from employee motivation, customer loyalty, sales incentives, and much more. And that’s not even the best news. Gift cards are a popular choice for gift card recipients, offering the flexibility and convenience that cash just lacks, but using gift cards can also save an organization money. GCP’s top retail and merchant gift card brands offer volume discounts so buying AND saving can be a stress-free process.

Looking to learn more about ways to save?

For Safety Sake, Launching an Effective Safety Program

Monday, July 8th, 2013

An effective safety program is one that works. Sounds obvious right? Well maybe not. It’s important to break down your safety program and ensure that each part works efficiently and with a clear goal in mind. The Michigan Municipal Workers’ Compensation Fund outlines just that in their Safety and Health Resource Manual.

These components are important to keep in mind when evaluating your safety program:

  • Creating the Program- Your approach depends on several aspects that are important to keep in mind based on your organization such as the nature and size of your operations, how many employees you have, number of locations, and the budget you have to work with.
  • What’s Your Objective?- Is it clear to your employees, or for that matter, to you. Define an objective and be sure that everything you do going forward relates back to it.
  • Targeting the Correct Participants- Identify which employees need to be involved in order to meet the objective.
  • Find a Focus- Having a central theme is key. Makes the objective clear.
  • Select Appropriate Prizes with Increasing Value- Contrary to what you might think these incentives don’t have to eat up your entire budget. Prizes like gift cards can be purchased in bulk at a discount from GiftCard Partners to save on costs. And when purchasing cards from places like CVS/pharmacy, Whole Foods Market, AutoZone, your employees receive prizes they can really use.

A safety program is made up of much more than hard hats and protective eye wear and it’s important to communicate a clear idea of what that is with your workers. Check out more ideas, tips and advice for starting your own safety program from the full Safety Incentive Programs Manual from Michigan Municipal Workers’ Compensation Fund here.


Employee Wellness and Safety Programs: How Health and Wellness and Safety Incentives Work

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

GiftCard Partners and CVS/pharmacy recently co-sponsored a webinar called Healthcare Reform’s Impact on Wellness – How to Incentivize Employees to Engage in Healthy Behavior. Speakers included Jonathan Edelheit, Editor in Chief of Benefits Live Magazine, Vanessa Cullerton, Senior Manager of Employee Wellness for the Hillshire Brands Company, Stacey Nelson, Manager of Health and Welfare for Sprint; and our own Edward Shulkin, President of GiftCard Partners.

The webinar tees up many of the effects of healthcare reform on wellness programs, but it also dives into actual employee wellness and safety incentives cases as well. In the webinar, Edelheit says: “If we look at manufacturing; gift card incentives are used really to motivate employees to engage in safer behaviors. That’s been happening for a while as a reward. If it’s done systematically with proper measurement methods, and you create a culture of preventing accidents, the company’s going to realize an ROI of increased productivity, reduced healthcare premiums, and potentially reduced worker comp claims. If we look at unsafe workplaces in this context, the National Safety Council reported that 3.8 million annual workplace injuries took place in the U.S., 90,000 of which caused permanent damage. The average cost per injury is $28,000, which was for a grand total of $130 billion dollars nationally.”

In our research, we found manufacturers getting creative with their safety programs, like a manufacturer who puts gift cards to work as incentives within their safety program: An electronics and process controls company plays “Safety Bingo” every month and they have been accident free for 15 years. “I use them as prizes, sometimes we will have 2 games going at one time like 4 corners and a regular Bingo, so I will give a $50 gift card for the 4 corners. Or I will surprise an employee who I catch using all their PPE (personal protective equipment) correctly.”

Register and check out the full webinar for more examples on how incentives are being used: Healthcare Reform’s Impact on Corporate Wellness & Incentivizing Employees



Effective Safety Training and Increasing Employee Engagement

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

A successful safety program begins with the level of knowledge and employee engagement you see from your workforce. If your employees are not actively involved and have a complete understanding of your safety program it will be difficult to see success. Safety training is the perfect tool to use in order to see positive results from your program and your employees alike.

An effective safety training program is not hard to implement and with the right tools and some helpful tips for employee engagement it can put your safety program on the path to success. Safety Daily Advisor outlines useful steps to take when assessing your safety training program and also a great planning checklist. See if you have asked yourself any of these questions in your planning process:

Your Needs-

  • Have there been any employee complaints about unsafe conditions?
  • Have you observed employees at work in all situations that might be hazardous?

Have You-

  • Identified which safety topics you will focus on?
  • Decided how you will evaluate the effectiveness of training (e.g., quiz, post-training job performance evaluation, etc.)?

As Safety Daily Advisor outlines, one great way to measure your employees knowledge after any safety training program is through quizzes or job performance evaluations. In order to keep the whole process fun or increase employee engagement it’s also a great idea to rewards employees who pass quizzes or evaluations with flying colors by giving low denomination gift cards or an early day off work. Buy gift cards in bulk and receive volume discounts. Don’t forget, a little can go a long way.

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.

Employee Loyalty Will Boost Your Bottom Line

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

According to a new study out from the Tempkin Group on investing in employees to make them better brand advocates and increase employee loyalty, having employees who are proud of their jobs and the work they do will actual move the needle on your organization’s bottom line. Investing in your workers satisfaction will increase the retention of employees, boost employeeproductivity while they are at work, and make them more willing to invest themselves in your organization. Using subtle mechanisms like loyalty rewards, helps boost employees satisfaction, and helps make employees proud of their organization. Rewards can be small, like a gift card to Whole Foods Market to help ease a family’s grocery bill, or a gift card to GNC for the fitness fanatic in the office, or even a gift card to a Speedway to ease the pain we all feel at the pump. Investing in employees can be low-cost and simple to execute, but can go a long way.

For more information on employees as organization advocates, check out this article from 1to1 Media.

Spot Rewards – Old School vs. New School

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Written by Forrest Richardson, GCP's Safety Incentives GURU

Fall of 2011 OSHA regulations begin penalizing incentives or disincentives that use lagging indicators.  Since most programs had two main components:  1) spot rewards, and 2) rewards for no injuries; the one item left standing is spot rewards which often wasn’t compelling enough at the time to warrant the initiatives.  Spot rewards in the classic example–where safety manager walks up to employee and hands gift card for wearing of safety glasses–will always present an occasional and valuable opportunity for amplifying the message in a safety culture; but the range of strategies and influential program designs can go much further.

Instead of having safety management handing out gift cards on the floor or daily, save rewards for your safety meeting to employ a strategy of praise in public, coach in private.  While maintaining record of which employees have received a workstation inspection recently and systematically observing production throughout staff evenly, have an objective approach by not mixing incentives during that time.  But take good notes for the safety committee to review for recognition at next week’s meeting.  Old-school way might have been a practice that lends itself to “here comes the safety sheriff”.  New school ways reinforce safe behaviors by giving recognition publicly at safety meetings so the workforce individuals each know what gift card their peers received and what behaviors they were observed doing correctly and when, and then got surprised with reward and recognition at the meeting.

Customer Loyalty, Step One: JOIN, Step Two: STAY

Monday, February 11th, 2013

You may find it easy to attract new customers with the lure of incentives, deals or promotions. BUT, are you keeping them after that? A recent Forbes article, Warning: Is Your New Customer Coming Back? 4 Steps You Should Take Now, explains that spending all that effort and time bringing in new customers may be costing you a lot more than it would keeping an existing one- in some cases 6 to 7 times more!

Of course attracting new customers is a crucial part of your loyalty program that should not be abandoned but a healthy balance between attracting the new and nurturing the current can spell success for your loyalty program as a whole.

Recognizing your current customers in a unique way can give them that sense of ‘special’ treatment that encourages them to stick around:

Try Saying Thanks – Sounds simple enough but it’s sometimes forgotten that a thank you goes a long way. Try sending a ‘Thank You for Your Loyalty’ email to customers who reach the one year mark, five year mark, etc. Customers don’t always need an incentive or reward for being loyal, just a little appreciation.

Use holidays as a way to appreciate your current customers- Sending out gift cards to The Children’s Place on Mother’s Day, gift cards to 1-800-Flowers on Valentine’s Day, or gift cards to CVS/pharmacy on a customer’s birthday shows how much their loyalty means all year round.

Take the time to take a special interest in your customer, it’s got its rewards.

Check out Forbes, Warning: Is Your New Customer Coming Back? 4 Steps You Should Take Now to get more ideas on keeping your customers close.