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Digital Gift Card Growth in B2B: 3 Trends to Consider

digital gift card growth

The only thing constant in the B2B gift card market is that it’s constantly evolving. This can leave retailers scrambling to keep up with the flow and not get left behind. One such evolution is digital gift card growth in the B2B market. Retailers are taking a closer look at the effect this growth in digital has on the bottom line of their B2B gift card program.

Digital gift card growth for retailers is critical

In a recent interview with GiftCard Partners, Madeline Wong, President of Haven Rock Consulting, specializing in strategic consulting services for Gift Cards, Digital Gifting, and Mobile Payments, and Kathy Cook, a current Gift Card Consultant to major retailers across the U.S., provided a retailer’s perspective on how digital gift card growth is now shaping the B2B gift card landscape.

“Digital is a critical component to growing a B2B gift card program. The immediate gratification of a digital gift card is very appealing to the recipients and the convenience of delivery appeals to the incentive companies,” says Madeline.

Each retailer’s involvement in the B2B market is different: from a team’s size and expertise to their operations and payment options. In such a complex, quickly-changing market, it is clear that there is no silver bullet for success. Digital gift card growth for retailers comes in many shapes and sizes, depending on a number of factors. Kathy explains,

“Every retailer is at a different stage of adoption, and where they are can dictate how they go about setting up their digital strategy.”

What retailers can do to move forward with digital

  1. Develop a digital gift card strategy: Retailers are all at different stages in their digital development and sophistication. It’s important to clearly determine the overall goal for your particular company or brand. Start by discussing where your brand is digitally, and how you would handle a digital gift card at the store operations level.
  2. Choose a delivery platform: In order to provide gift card recipients with convenience and personalized experiences, retailers need to focus on their delivery options. Most retailers have chosen to use a third party delivery platform, such as these key players CashStar, Transaction Wireless, InComm and Blackhawk Network.
  3. Expand/Build up redemption: The question is: when a customer walks into a store with your brand’s gift card on their mobile phone, what happens next? The process should be simple for the customer. Does the customer need to print out the digital gift card to use in the store or can the cashier key in the gift card number? What kind of POS technology will you use – 2D barcode scanners or NFC or both? It has to be quick, easy and convenient for the customer and the cashier. Redemption in the stores is the key to developing a digital gift card strategy.

In need of a little B2B Gift Card guidance? We’re here to help! Schedule a free consultation with one of our experts today.

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Lauren is the Marketing Specialist here at GiftCard Partners. She enjoys all things marketing and design related. Learning about the newest trends and technologies in the b2b gift card world and seeing how we can use them to develop the best experience for our audience and reader base is our goal.

Whole Foods ‘Values Matter’ Brand Campaign

Whole Foods

2016 is looking to be a huge year for the organic foods industry. And as the world’s leader in natural and organic foods, Whole Foods Market is no exception. The organic foods giant is rethinking its business model and revamping its brand to stay competitive with a slew of new competitors.

Whole Foods ended 2015 with over $15 billion in sales, and their growing competition can likely be attributed to their own success. Whole Foods Market CEO, John Mackey recently commented,

“People are copying us…We used to beg people to write articles about us. We were just seen as a bunch of hippies selling food to other hippies. So I’m kind of very proud of the fact that Whole Foods has really changed the world, that the whole food industry has changed because of Whole Foods Market.”

Throughout 2016, the organic grocer will be implementing a nine-points plan that highlight Whole Foods values. Some of the points emphasized will be: cutting costs, innovation, and marketing & communicating the Whole Foods difference.

Add Whole Foods gift cards to your program(s)

Communicating the Whole Foods Difference

When it comes to communicating the Whole Foods brand difference, they released the Whole Foods ‘Values Matter’ national brand campaign highlighting the company’s groundbreaking quality standards, healthy offerings, and key milestones as a pioneer in the natural and organic food industry. By communicating the company’s deeper purpose and its history of celebrating food and the people who produce it, the multichannel advertising initiative demonstrates the values as “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store.”

Check out a couple of the Whole Foods ‘Values Matter’ Brand Campaign ads

 

whole foods gift cards

Interested in adding the Whole Foods Market gift card as a reward or incentive option for your program(s)? Find out how you can save on bulk orders now!

Learn More About Whole Foods Gift Cards

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

2015 Gift Card Sales Reach $130 Billion

2015 gift card sales

2015 gift card sales in the U.S. reach $130 billion, a 6% increase over 2014.

2015 gift cards sales are just the beginning as gift card sales are predicted to reach $160 billion by 2018. E-gifting had the largest increase, rising to 26% in 2015, representing $7.1 billion in volume. E-gifting is also expected to support the overall payment industry growth. Long-term prospects for e-gifting remain promising as more payment services become mainstream and plastic cards make the switch to digital.

“Consumers continue to enjoy the convenience of giving and receiving gift cards in all forms,” said CEB Principal Executive Advisor Brian Riley.  “Both retailers and financial institutions have prioritized gift cards as a central to their strategies for gaining share of customers’ (increasingly digital) wallets.”

The amount of breakage (spillage), also known as unused gift card volume, continued to significantly decline, resulting in less than 1% of total volume. Regulatory action (Credit CARD act) has tightened rules on retailers, making it more difficult for stores to cancel unused cards or charge inactivity fees. This helps to prevent retailers from quickly cashing in on breakage. Customers have also caught on and appear to be finding more ways to avoid breakage. Even if there is only a small amount left on a gift card the consumers are finding a way to use them. But there is still a positive for retailers, as this usually means more lift (the amount that the customer spends over the value of the gift card)!

Other key findings:

  • Open network branded cards grew to $48 billion (up 6.7%)
  • Retailer cards grew to $43 billion (up 4.9%)
  • The restaurant and miscellaneous categories both showed limited growth with $19 billion and $13 billion, respectively.

Read the full press release from CEB Global, here.

With continued growth, the 2018 prediction of $160 billion could very well be surpassed with ease.  What are you expecting from the gift card payments industry in 2016?

 

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

GiftCard Partners Named One of “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” in 2015

best and brightest 2015

Awarded by the National Association for Business Resources

Wellesley, MA (PRWEB) December 31, 2015 – GiftCard Partners (GCP) has announced that for the third consecutive year, they have been named one of the nation’s “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™” by the National Association for Business Resources.

The 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ is one of the nation’s most premier awards competition. It is not only challenging but celebrates meaningful work-life impact for participating companies. The winners have ensured that all their actions are performed through their mission, vision, values, culture and leadership.

As a national winner, GiftCard Partners has displayed a commitment to excellence in their employee enrichment and human resource practices. The judging process requires companies and their employees to go through a rigorous two-part survey process, designed to gather detailed information and feedback from employees of the organization. Results were then analyzed based on categories such as communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention, and more.

best & brightest 2015

The GCP team at the 2015 IMA Executive Summit

Deborah Merkin, Co-CEO of GiftCard Partners said about the win, “We are honored to receive The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ award for the third year in a row. From the beginning, Ed (fellow Co-CEO of GiftCard Partners) and I have strived to offer those at our company a work-life balance. We want to provide a work environment that challenges each of our employees to reach their fullest potential while not compromising the time they spend with their family.”

About Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™
Best and Brightest strives to recognize the most influential, trend-setting companies across the country and regionally in focused programs.

The “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” is presented annually in the following nine markets: Atlanta, Milwaukee, San Francisco Bay Area, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Metro Detroit, West Michigan, Chicago, and Nationally. This premier awards symposium celebrates those companies that are making the lives of their employees better as well as improving the community as a whole. The 101 Best and Brightest program provides yearlong education, benchmarking, assessment tools, and interaction amongst the best employers.

To learn more about the awards and the National Association for Business Resources, please visit http://www.101bestandbrightest.com.  You can also follow them on Twitter @101best

About GiftCard Partners, Inc.
GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader in the fast-growing payments industry with a proven record of success. We are dedicated to building retailers’ and merchants’ B2B gift card business through the use of leading-edge marketing and technology. GiftCard Partners increases top line revenue, strengthens brand awareness and drives new customer acquisition for our clients including CVS/pharmacy®, Whole Foods Market, AutoZoneThe Cheesecake Factory, Boston Market, and more.

We place our clients’ gift cards in workplace safety programs, health and wellness programs, employee recognition, motivation and sales incentive programs, and customer rewards and loyalty programs.

We serve businesses in their selection of our client’s gift cards matching the brand to their program. As a result of our deep brand and industry expertise, we recognize that in order for a program to be successful, the congruency of the reward must match the program, e.g. The “Right Brands for the Right Programs”.

Learn more about our services: contact us today!


Contact Us 

Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

2013 Key Holiday Gift Card Trends

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.

 

Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

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

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?

Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

2013 Consumer Gift Card Attitudes Survey

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?

Lauren is the Marketing Specialist here at GiftCard Partners. She enjoys all things marketing and design related. Learning about the newest trends and technologies in the b2b gift card world and seeing how we can use them to develop the best experience for our audience and reader base is our goal.

For Safety Sake, Launching an Effective Safety Program

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.

 

Lauren is the Marketing Specialist here at GiftCard Partners. She enjoys all things marketing and design related. Learning about the newest trends and technologies in the b2b gift card world and seeing how we can use them to develop the best experience for our audience and reader base is our goal.

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

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

 

 

Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

Effective Safety Training and Increasing Employee Engagement

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.

Lauren is the Marketing Specialist here at GiftCard Partners. She enjoys all things marketing and design related. Learning about the newest trends and technologies in the b2b gift card world and seeing how we can use them to develop the best experience for our audience and reader base is our goal.