Building customer loyalty and increasing sales are two primary goals of most business owners, regardless of size or industry. This was the topic of a recent installment in the Vantiv Advantage webinar series.
“Growing sales through customer rewards and mobile payments is exciting and a very timely topic,” explained Kim Piper, Vantiv’s Strategy Manager for Local Businesses, who hosted the webinar along with John Nail, Sr. Product Manager, Stored Value Solutions, and Micah Juntunen, Leader, Gift Sales.
“There are so many different ways to use gift cards—for promotions, charitable donations, school fundraisers, for returns instead of issuing cashback, all sorts of things,” noted Piper.
StoreCard, Vantiv’s award-winning rewards and loyalty product available to customers using Vantiv Integrated Payments, offers many ways for a business to build customer satisfaction and loyalty, which ultimately helps drive sales, explained Piper.
“StoreCard is a product that allows you to compete with the big boxes,” said Piper. “It transforms a traditional gift card service into an industry leading stored value service, and gives businesses a way to differentiate themselves and compete with national chains.”
In addition to providing an overview of the StoreCard features and functionality, the webinar featured real-life stories of how customers are using StoreCard to boost sales.
An enhanced stored value program designed specifically for the SMB market, StoreCard allows a business to create a private label rewards card and payment card to drive revenue from existing customers and attract new customers. It includes eight features built on top of the standard gift card offering:
- Card Registration, which secures and protects the card in the event of loss or theft
- StoreCard Manager, an online portal for cardholders to access card features
- Auto Reload, which facilitates manual and automatic reloading of card balances
- Rewards, allowing merchants to reward customers for every StoreCard purchase, reload, or both
- DigiCard, unique digital promotional offers
- Social Sharing, promotions to drive sales using Social Media
- Go Mobile, StoreCard’s mobile payment option
- Card Studio, a customized website for personalized gift and eGift cards
“You can pick and choose to create the program that is perfect for you and your customers,” explained Juntunen.
Every merchant that enrolls in StoreCard receives a branded StoreCard Manager portal, noted Nail. This portal allows cardholders to manage their cards and access the standard features of their card—check balance, transaction history, and card registration—as well as any other features the merchant has signed up for.
Nail noted that Card Registration is one of the most valuable standard features of StoreCard, because it offers cardholders peace of mind if their card is lost or stolen. It also allows merchants to build a customer list, since Vantiv provides cardholder data including email and phone number.
Features to help boost sales
In addition to the standard features, merchants can choose from sales-boosting options including Auto Reload, Rewards, and Mobile.
With Auto Reload, customers can designate a one-time or auto-reload preference. It’s a great feature for cardholders to experience a fast and easy payment at their store, explained Nail, since they always know they’ll never run out of funds on their StoreCard.
Merchants using auto-reload also save on transaction fees, explained Juntunen, since gift card transactions through StoreCard are free and unlimited.
With Rewards, merchants determine the amount of rewards they want to offer customers, and customers are rewarded for every purchase they make using their StoreCard. Rewards work perfectly with auto reload, noted Nail, because it gives customers an incentive to reload fund onto their StoreCards.
Rewards are also a great incentive for customers to use their StoreCard as their primary payment card because they always know they are getting something back when they make a purchase at your store
“Rewards are for everyone,” said Juntunen, who offered an example of one restaurant that used StoreCard Rewards to incentivize their best customers to come in more frequently and spend more money.
The Mobile Card feature allows cardholders to convert their plastic gift cards to digital gift cards, so they can either swipe their card or pay using their smartphone. Digital StoreCard is stored in Apple Wallet for iPhone, or Passmarket for Android. Adding mobile makes sense especially when using reload and rewards features because all these functions are managed through the StoreCard Manager site
“You speed up the checkout experience and you create loyal customers who have your digital StoreCard stored on their phone,” said Nail.
Features that help attract new customers
In addition to building customer loyalty, StoreCard offers features that help businesses attract new customers. DigiCard, for example, allows merchants to run a turn-key customer promotion that uses an SMS code for consumers to redeem a special offer.
Juntunen shared an example of a how one restaurant uses DigiCard for a successful cross-marketing promotion with a local hotel, driving revenue for both businesses using a fun customer satisfaction program.
While DigiCard is a great way for a merchant to promote and attract new customers, Social Sharing leverages customers to promote the business to their friends and family.
“Your customers share news about your business by sharing a promotional gift on their Facebook wall,” said Nail. Vantiv works with the merchant to develop the promotion, and makes it available on the StoreCard Manager site for all customers to access. Merchants also get reporting on customers that participate in the program, so they can see who their best customers are.
With Card Studio, merchants have yet another way to extend their reach and increase sales. A merchant branded eCommerce site, Card Studio enables customers to purchase and send physical and eGift cards to their friends and family. Customers can choose from plastic cards, or design their own. Vantiv makes it simple by handling the printing and shipping of cards directly to recipients.
With so many features to choose from, SMBs can design the StoreCard program that works best for them. And most importantly, for those just starting out, options can be phased in one at a time.
View the entire webinar and learn more about how one restaurant used DigiCard for a successful promotion here.