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Your Guide to Gift Card Management for Small Businesses

July 28th, 2022 | Gift & Loyalty

Chapter 1: Gift Card Management

Chapter One

Gift Cards for Small Businesses

Five ways to prepare for Natasha's Law

Chapter Two

Benefits of Selling Gift Cards

Five ways to prepare for Natasha's Law

Chapter Three

Digital Gift Cards vs Physical Gift Cards

Chapter One: Gift Cards for Small Businesses

 

Custom gift cards are becoming an important tool for small businesses. It is difficult to prevent customers from visiting large, established chain stores, and inflation pushes up the price of your products and your running costs compared to large businesses. Introducing customer gift cards increases both your footfall and your revenue.

Gift cards for small businesses

Gift cards can be added to your portfolio as another product, generating a new source of revenue.

Our gift card software is ideal for small businesses, and can be applied through physical cards or digitally. You can offer customers bespoke printed gift cards – or keep it simple by emailing QR codes that can be scanned and redeemed at the point of purchase.

The solution is simple to use, and only requires a mobile or tablet device to be used in-store.

Gift card management software

You can easily track and manage the gift cards you have sold in our online back office. This can be accessed anywhere via a tablet or computer. Here, you will be able to add and subtract value on existing gift cards, create new digital gift cards, and view your transactions, both in a list form and as a handy analytical graph.

Print gift cards for your business

Standard gift cards are 86 × 54mm, which is the size and thickness of a standard credit card. We print full colour on both sides, with either a high gloss or matte finish, depending on what you prefer.

We can also provide a range of special features for custom gift cards, such as hot foiling, spot UV, scratch-off panels and more. These can be used to increase security and for aesthetic purposes.

For small businesses with gift card software in place, we offer custom gift cards that are compatible with most systems. With a minimum order quantity of 100, we can print gift cards to suit your requirements – whether that’s a QR code or a barcode – at a great, affordable price.

Why small businesses sell gift cards

Gift cards are an ideal way to ensure that spend remains within your business.

During peak times it can be difficult to keep up with the rush. Selling gift cards helps to ease the pressure on stock because they are redeemed after a purchase. Furthermore, you are being paid upfront, in advance.

Any value left on gift cards can be counted as 100% profit, boosting your bottom line. However, most gift card recipients spend more than the value on their gift card in your shop, which further increases its overall sales value.

Beauty salon gift card

Gift cards are also favoured by customers. They provide a way to support their favourite independent businesses even during times of hardship (such as closures and stock issues), and make an ideal gift for loved ones.

In turn, existing customers can introduce new customers to your business, further increasing your revenue and building your customer base.

 

Chapter 2: Benefits of Selling Gift Cards

 

Gift cards are a cost-effective way to secure revenue for your business all year round, regardless of when your busy or quiet business periods typically fall.

Having bespoke gift cards to sell to customers carries many benefits for small, medium, and large organisations – from small local high street shops to larger stores with branches in multiple locations.

How do small businesses benefit from selling gift cards?

Gift cards are usually purchased to give to friends and family, providing your business with a new stream of customers. With 72% of gift card users spending 20% more than the original value of their card, you’ll gain extra revenue from a source that previously didn’t exist for your business.

Another positive for businesses is that gift cards provide a significant cash flow boost, as money is taken upfront. This means you don’t need to provide goods or services immediately, reducing pressure on your stockholding capacity during peak periods. And even if your customer doesn’t use redeem the entire value of their gift card, all unused money will count as 100% profit.

Collecting consumer data

It’s also extremely easy to oversee your gift card scheme using our cloud-based management software. It is also run on a mobile or tablet device and doesn’t require any specific or expensive hardware to be purchased upfront. You just need to download the easy-to-navigate app, and you’re set to go!

If your customer needs to return an item for whatever reason, you can make sure that any spending remains inside your business by using gift cards as an alternative form of a refund.

Gift cards are also much easier to market than gift vouchers, thanks to the attractive printed carriers and professional displays they can be displayed in. Unlike traditional paper vouchers, which are easy to misplace and usually have a one-time use, plastic printed gift cards are far more durable and can be reused many times. Plastic gift cards also offer more security because the value isn’t loaded onto the card until it is activated by the business.

How can offering gift cards improve your small business?

For independent stores, it’s already difficult enough to compete with national chains, well-known names, and businesses in the same sector as you, but gift cards help to ease that stress by giving your business an edge over competitors who don’t currently have a gift card system.

A digital gift card system allows you to offer printed bespoke gift cards whilst also enabling you to give your customers e-gift cards. The recipient receives their digital gift card in the form of an email, containing a unique QR code that can be shown in-store and scanned by you for a quick and easy transaction.

Having a gift card system in place is very cost-effective for small businesses – you can have access to 500 gift cards and unlimited scans/redemptions from as little as £40 per month. Not only will you stand out compared to other businesses, but you will also give local customers a way of supporting independent shops in their area.

Chapter 3: Digital Gift Cards vs Physical Gift Cards

 

There are many benefits to using gift cards for your small business. Whether you choose to use physical gift cards, digital gift cards, or both, there are many ways that having an in-house gift card system can benefit your small business. Ensuring spending remains within your business is a must, and gift cards make excellent presents for the friends and family of your customers.

E-gift cards for small businesses

Having a digital gift card system in place for your small business is an excellent option for your small business, thanks to digital gift cards requiring no physical outlay. They require only basic setup of the management software and therefore they can be used instantly. As long as you have a phone or tablet in your business, you can enjoy all the benefits of digital gift cards.

Digital gift cards mean that it will only take your customers a click of a button to bring up their gift card QR code on their phone. This easy access through their mobile phone reduces the risk of leaving their gift card at home, and may be a more attractive option for the customer for security reasons.

Another huge benefit of digital gift cards is the reduction of theft and fraud. Having no physical card means that there is only a very small risk of theft, loss, and attempted fraud. It can be handy for customers as they also won’t have to remember to bring a card out with them when they intend on visiting your business, and they will always have it on hand if they make an unexpected visit.

If your small business happens to have an online shop, you can also sell your digital gift cards in your online shop. This makes it easy for online shoppers to purchase gift cards without having to go in store.

Digital gift cards are an inexpensive option for your small business – where physical gift cards can incur a small cost on your business as they must be designed and printed, physical gift cards are pre-loaded into the management software and are ready to be used instantly. A digital gift card is a good way to introduce gift cards to your small business on a tighter budget, and you can also decide to include physical gift cards later if your requirements and budgets change.

E-gift cards are environmentally friendly due to the absence of a plastic card, making it a smart option for those customers who want to make that extra effort to be more green.

Gift card app for small businesses

We recognise that many independent retailers already have tablets or smartphones in use within the business. That’s why we recommend our gift card app – it’s suitable for small businesses, and also doubles as a loyalty card app! The app can be downloaded on any Android or Apple mobile or tablet devices, and using the device’s camera and a WiFi or hotspot connection, your device can turn into a mobile card reader. The app is easy and simple to use and allows you as a retailer to quickly register new customers and monitor your gift card transactions.

Printed physical gift cards include the same QR code which would be used for a digital gift card, meaning the app works for both physical and digital so you won’t need two separate systems. With this app, all your customer data can be kept in the same cloud-based system that can be accessed at any time.

Physical gift cards for small businesses

There are lots of great benefits that come with investing in custom gift cards for your small business. Having an actual physical gift card may encourage more purchases as customers have something to show for their spends, and having your businesses’ bespoke artwork printed onto high quality gift cards creates a professional look for your small business.

Creating a custom design for your physical gift card that follows your business’ branding can enable you to display high quality gift cards that compliment your in-store look. Customers may be more attracted to gift cards that are displayed in a clear and professional manner, especially when they feature bespoke artwork. High quality plastic cards are more appealing to customers buying gifts for friends and family, especially when displayed in an attractive carrier.

Having physical gift cards on display next to your tills in store can trigger impulse spends. As customers may remember they have a birthday coming up, or another occasion that requires a gift, and they can then quickly add one to their basket. You could also encourage staff members to upsell the gift cards at the till by giving the customer a friendly reminder that they are available. With digital gift cards, impulse purchases are a lot less likely to occur.

Physical gift cards are more appealing to buyers who are shopping for gifts in particular. Having a physical gift to hand to someone in person can feel much more rewarding than emailing them over a digital one, and customers can insert their gift card into a birthday card, or even buy a gift card that comes with a special birthday gift card carrier. Physical gift cards are a lot more popular for these purchases as recipients find it more rewarding and heartfelt.

Many physical gift cards are reloadable so customers can keep adding to their gift balance when they hit zero. This ensures customers keep coming back for more, and anything that doesn’t get spent is still a profit for your small business.

Here at Reward-It, we provide gift card printing services for your small business. We use an advanced 4-colour print process to create stunning full-colour designs, with printing to both the front and reverse of the cards. We also offer options for a high-gloss laminate or matte finish. We have a range of special features available to bring your gift cards to the next level. Our range of special features include hot foil stamping, spot UV, spot gloss, Magstripe and scratch-off panels.

You can also order a free sample pack to get a feel for our printed gift cards.

Gift card carriers

Branding your gift card carriers as well as your gift cards adds a further personal touch to your cards. Whether you design your artwork based on your business’ branding or even implement seasonal gift card carriers for Christmas time, you can use gift card carriers to attract your customers and increase appeal. We have a range of carrier types including enclosed wallets or hanging carriers with a euro slot, so you can find something to suit your requirements. You can design your own gift card carriers or you can contact a member of our expert team who can help you bring your ideas to life.

 

Products mentioned in this guide

Gift Cards

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Bespoke printed gift cards

Bring in another stream of revenue with gift cards, specifically designed to suit your business!