Do not scare your customers away from your gift card program!

Make sure you do not give your customers a nightmare with your gift card program! There are a few simple things you can do to make sure your gift cards are as delightful as possible. 


In a recent study, consumers ranked community / civic involvement and social responsibility high on their list of priorities with 54% of consumers reporting that they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that’s environmentally responsible or has sustainable / ethical business practices. In the world of banking, The Vericast 2022 Financial Services TrendWatch Report found that 93% of consumers would switch to a card made from recovered ocean-bound plastic if offered by their current issuer and that more than half are willing to switch to another financial institution if it offered such cards – and that’s for a banking process which is likely to be of significant inconvenience. Consider how impactful your gift card could be if it was able to represent a greener design. 


Expiry dates and not promoting redemption

The average expiry date on a gift card is about 18 months, but some can be as short as three months or even just a few weeks! London Edu notes that some brands already issue cards with no expiry – such as IKEA, iTunes, Selfridges and Starbucks. Some have fairly long periods – such as Amazon (10 years) Marks & Spencer and The Body Shop (two years) or Argos and Zara (three years). Others, such as Costa Coffee, Ticketmaster, Habitat, Ted Baker offer 12 months. 

If your gift card has an expiry date, make sure it’s clearly visible. Nothing is worse than receiving a gift card and then realizing it’s already expired.

Consumers are keenly aware of the value of their money and don’t want to see it go to waste. At the same time, it’s key to drive people back to spend with you, if not for the overspend benefits, then just for the delivery of a premium customer service. 

Ensure you are delivering a nurturing campaign which can deliver people back to your site or stores to redeem their card. 


Limited use

Another way to scare customers away from your gift card programme is to put too many restrictions on how and where the card can be used. 

Instead, make it easy for customers to use their gift cards. Ideally, they should be able to use it in-store, online, and over the phone. The last one is a consideration not many brands take into account. How are your customer service teams primed to handle gift card sales?


Prescriptive designs

Recent marketing trends have seen gift cards have an array of designs – some which are for ‘kids’, ‘women’ or ‘men’. But tread carefully,  as you don’t want to come across as presumptuous. If you get the design wrong, it can be a turn-off for customers.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution and go for a more neutral design that will appeal to everyone. After all, the whole point of a gift card is that it’s a personal present that the recipient can choose how to spend.

By following these simple tips, you can make sure your gift card programme is inclusive, attractive and won’t give your customers nightmares.

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