3 things to look for in a gift card system
When choosing a gift card system for your business, it pays to shop around. Also, when it comes to gift card processing and options, the least expensive option may not be the best choice. Alternatively, the most expensive gift card programs may not be what your business really needs.
With so many offerings to choose from, how do you narrow down your search and find the best gift card solution for your business? Before we get into a few of the features you should look for, it’s helpful to take an inventory of your business’ needs. Do you have recognizable branding? Do you want to pre-set gift card amounts or allow your customers to choose the value? How do you want customers to access your gift cards? Answers to questions like these will help you determine the best type of gift cards for your business.
When evaluating potential solutions, here are three things you should look for:
1. Card packages.
Gift cards are typically available in templated or custom branded designs. Templated cards should feature your business logo and contact information. If you want a custom designed card to match existing marketing materials, some vendors request that you provide the design files while others offer design assistance. Be sure to ask about available discounts if merchandising materials like cardholders and displays are included in the order.
2. Supported transaction types.
At the very least, your gift cards should support activation and redemption. Other transaction types that add convenience include balance inquiry and reload. If you run a restaurant, you may want a gift card platform that supports pre-authorization for tip adjustments. If you want to use your gift cards for promotions, look for a program that offers mass activation, mass reload, and mass close transactions. Find out how much you will be charged for gift card transactions. You can save money with companies like Vantiv, which offer unlimited gift card transactions for one monthly fee.
3. Card distribution.
After choosing your cards and the types of transactions they will accommodate, it’s time to think about getting your cards into customers’ hands. From in-store to direct mail, online to mobile, today’s consumers use a variety of sales channels to make purchases. Ideally gift card systems should be able to support all your customers’ buying preferences– as well as yours. You might not be ready to sell your gift cards online yet, but it’s nice to have the option to do so in the future. Providers like Vantiv help merchants accommodate consumers’ growing preferences for shopping all channels including using eGift cards on their smartphones. Vantiv also makes it possible to extend the reach of your brand by selling your cards in high profile gift card mall displays.
Gift cards help drive sales and encourage customer loyalty, so choosing a gift card program for business is an important decision. To learn more about the options available for your business, contact us.