GCP’s Q1 2012 Gift Card Industry Trend Report is Here!

The first quarter of 2012 included GCP’s visits to and participation in many meetings, conferences and events, including the PrePaid Expo, the InComm Partner Alliance, the South Florida Success Expo (SWFL), and the Loyalty Expo. In Q1’s trend report, we captured a pulse on 2011 B2B gift card sales results, key gift card market expansion trends for 2012, and an update on the effects of New Jersey’s gift card laws to our industry.

Read the full B2B Gift Card Trend Report here.




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

Take-aways from Loyalty Expo: Social media, personalizing loyalty & mobile segmentation

GCP’s Vice President of  Sales, Diane Freeland, is back from Loyalty 360’s annual Loyalty Expo & shares the top discussions that caught her attention.

Social media and customer care: Social media has altered the role of customer service in an organization, from primarily a support function to an extension of marketing. Brands can listen to what customers are saying, they can be proactive and more widely solicit product or service feedback, offer incentives like gift cards or points for sharing product information. Many of GCP’s clients are taking social media seriously, 1-800-Flowers was one of the first retailers to use Facebook’s platform.

For more details on social media & customer care, check out: How to Integrate Customer Service Into Social Media Marketing. It also includes 12 Ways Social Media Enhances Customer Service and 5 Ways to Measure Social Media Customer Service.

What’s next for loyalty programs? Are traditional points based loyalty programs dead?  The consensus was NO. However, significantly different redemption options need to be brought into the mix with gift cards, merchandise, and travel rewards (e.g intrinsic rewards like virtual game currency). We heard some interesting discussion around personalizing loyalty rewards for individual participants. Traditional loyalty programs offer everyone the same reward options; when rewards are personalized it starts a dialogue and treats the customer to rewards they’ve selected versus what is offered across the program. What if customers can select or “favorite” categories of rewards like gift cards for children’s clothes, brands of merchandise like “Apple”, and travel customized to “Inns on the east coast”? The learnings from programs like this could go a long way for the development of loyalty programs that listen!

Mobile Segmentation Marketing: Another interesting way to listen and respond to loyal customers; shaping customer personas based on their mobile usage. This allows thoughtful marketers to send the right kinds of messages to the right users and reward for loyalty via the right technology. The goal is to better increase the value of customer relationships based on how customers use their mobile phones, like m-certs (mobile gift cards). Carlson Marketing gave some great examples of how they are engaging in this strategy for the Hallmark Crown Rewards loyalty program; “Interactions turned into transactions”.

For more insights to mobile technology and gift cards, read GCP’s article: Why Mobile & Virtual Gift Cards are Becoming a Way of Life

GCP will be launching our new website in the coming week, keep a look out:

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