As consumer demand for gift cards continues even after spike in interest during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers and brands are looking for ways to improve the performance of their programs of gift cards (i.e. generating more sales), especially online. To assist in this quest, NAPCO Research, in collaboration with Blackhawk Network, conducted a comprehensive assessment of the state of UK merchant gift card e-commerce offerings. The review assessed 50 brands on over 100 unique criteria, including things like ease of discovery, offering flexibility, payment / post-purchase, customer service, among others.
In addition to ranking rated retailers based on established criteria and providing analysis of trends revealed by the data, the report features a section on best practices merchants can implement to improve the performance of their card purchase- online gifts. to treat. Here are some of these best practices:
- A personalized experience is not optional. Personalization is a necessary component of your gift card program and a valuable tool in differentiating it from others in the market. Delivering a truly tailored experience that consumers will remember will help build lasting relationships and can be particularly helpful in attracting a younger demographic who are native to personalization through the ubiquity of platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify.
- If you neglect discoverability, consumers risk neglecting your brand. Educating consumers about your gift card offering, as well as ensuring that gift cards are easy to locate and come with relevant information and a simple, aesthetic experience, should be the first step in any merchant’s journey. towards a more effective gift card program. Creating a strong gift card offer but leaving it buried, clogged, or hard to find is counterproductive.
- Optimizing applications can hold the key to an untapped opportunity. Merchants who don’t offer their gift cards in their mobile apps are missing out on the opportunity to meet their customers wherever they are. By not including gift cards in their mobile apps, merchants fail to deliver a valuable, revenue-generating product in a channel their customers frequent. By optimizing the gift card shopping experience on all devices, brands can allow customers to participate in the program on their terms, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
- Innovate to differentiate yourself. With a few exceptions, innovation among the merchants assessed in this report was generally low, even among brands known to be creative and inventive outside of gift cards. To capitalize on the important gift card market, brands should extend the innovation that manifests in other aspects of their business to gift cards. This will help them stand out from the competition, build a deeper and more personal relationship with customers, and generate income.
For more tips on how to increase online gift card sales, check out the 2021 UK Merchant Gift Card Ecommerce Assessment. You can download the full report, which includes the rankings. all 50 merchants (including by product category) plus more valuable trends and tips gleaned from the data, here.