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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.