Getting a global perspective on gift cards

In an ideal world, managing a gift card programme would be simple. You’d have a clear understanding of the regulatory environment in each market, consumer spending trends, and the best way to accept and process payments. But with consumers increasingly shopping across borders, it’s more important than ever for retailers to have a global perspective on gift cards. Here are some things to consider when developing or expanding your gift card programme.


Consumer Trends

One of the most important factors to consider when managing a gift card program is consumer behaviour. Understanding what types of gifts people in different markets prefer can help you target your gift card offerings accordingly. For example, in North America shoppers are more likely to buy gift cards for themselves, whereas in the Eu there is typically a view that gift cards are purchased for others as presents, or to reward employees and customers.


Regulatory Environment

Another important factor to consider is the regulatory environment in each market. Regulations governing gift cards can vary significantly from country to country, so it’s important to be aware of any restrictions or requirements that may apply. For example, in some markets it may be necessary to print the card’s expiration date on the front of the card, while in others it may be prohibited to expire gift cards prematurely.


Payment Behaviours

Different regions have different payment behaviours, so it’s important to find a processor that understands the nuances of each market. For example, in North America and Europe, consumers are more likely to use debit or credit cards for online purchases, while in some locations cash on delivery is still a thing! (According to the findings from a G4S report, in Asia, over 75% of e-commerce transactions happened with cash on delivery.)


Unified System

A unified system for managing gift card programs can help retailers manage their programmes more effectively across borders. It will provide streamlined reporting and analysis capabilities, as well as support for multiple currencies and languages. This can be particularly helpful for retailers with multiple brands operating in different markets.


B2B Trends and Players

When developing a gift card programme, it’s important to understand the b2b landscape in each market. This includes understanding the major players, as well as the trends that are influencing their behaviour. For example, in North America and Europe, there has been a shift towards closed loop gift cards, while in many other territories, open loop gift cards are more popular. You need guidance on where to place your brand in each space.


Operations Outside Your Core Business

If you’re expanding your gift card program into new markets, you’ll likely need to work with local partners to manage operations. This can be a challenge if you’re not familiar with the local business culture or process. It’s important to find partners that share your values and have a similar commitment to customer service.


We can help!


If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of expanding your gift card programme into new markets, don’t worry – we can help! RLC Solutions has extensive experience in managing gift card programmes globally, and we already work across major global markets. We know the importance of understanding local cultures and business practices and we can help you develop a strategy that takes into account the unique dynamics of each market, and we’ll work with you every step of the way to ensure a smooth rollout. Contact us today to learn more about our global gift card services.

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