We’ve always said that gift cards are the perfect way to ‘surprise and delight’ and it seems that many retailers are in agreements.
New research has found that gift cards are playing a growing role in driving customer loyalty, with almost a fifth of shoppers becoming a regular customer of a retailer after being given one of their gift cards. Consequently, retailers are being urged to use gift cards as part of their wider loyalty strategies – as almost three-quarters of UK consumers (73.5%) would be interested in the ability to collect points when redeeming gift cards.
Marriot hotels for one has been emailing out elite members $30/50 Marriott Gift Cards for use at Bonvoy hotels and outlets for retail, spa, golf as well as food and beverages as a way to consolidate the loyalty programmes previously known as Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. Gift cards are an ideal way to give extra value and whilst $30 may not seem much for an ‘elite’ spender, it helps kickstart a new relationship with the businesses loyalty programme.
At the same time, it seems that Facebook is seeing the value of gift cards and it has started prompting some users to send Gift Cards to their friends on their birthday, including retailers such as Uber Gift Card, Sephora and Starbucks. From a retailer perspective, now is the perfect time to align yourself with Facebook – after all, Worldwide, there are over 2.38 billion monthly active users of the site!
On top of this, if you were in any doubt as to the importance of a gift card programme that sits within mobile, consider the news that Dunkin’ (Formerly Dunkin’ Donuts) DD Perks loyalty program has signed up 2 million members while the chain’s mobile payment and gifting application has surpassed more than 10 million downloads. That’s plenty of ‘sweet’ data for the marketing and forecasting teams, and a tasty deal for consumers as well.
Well done to the brands on not segregating gift cards and loyalty/ reward – they really do go hand in hand!