Gift Cards and Mobile Make a Perfect Match
Mobile technology is making it possible for consumers to quickly access digital gift cards from their mobile devices, opening up new sales and promotional opportunities for retailers. Not only are mobile gift cards a great tool for last-minute shopping, but they're also growing as a personal budgeting tool. With the mobile gift card market growing as quickly as it is, retailers need to carefully consider how they can take advantage. Consider these three tips for maximizing mobile gift card sales:
1. Deploy a mobile-optimized shopping cart. To maximize mobile gift card sales, retailers should consider deploying mobile-optimized shopping carts that enable consumers to purchase and send digital and physical gift cards via their mobile devices.
This will provide a more seamless purchase experience for consumers — from their mobile device they can simply click on a gift card link, choose whether they want to buy a physical or digital card, pick a card design, determine the amount they want, and customize the card with a personal message. Providing a mobile purchasing option allows consumers to conveniently purchase gift cards anywhere, anytime.
2. Leverage a powerful back-end delivery platform. Retailers also need to carefully consider the back-end technology needed to power mobile gift card programs, as there are a few key features they'll want to look out for. Full-service solutions will manage everything from card provisioning to card reloading to buying and sending digital gift cards. Solutions should also make it easy for retailers to grow their business by offering robust customer analytics, such as when and how often customers view cards and redeem them.
While physical gift cards are much harder to track, mobile gift cards can be tracked to granular levels and offer valuable insights for brands. Retailers should also be sure to adapt solutions with robust business rules so that they can change their gift card programs as business needs change.
3. Partner with mobile apps. While retailers should be sure to offer mobile gift cards through their own sites, they can improve gift card sales, drive more brand loyalty and even gain new customers by also partnering with mobile apps. For example, mobile apps like Gyft give consumers access to gift cards from over 200 brands and allow them to buy, send and redeem the cards instantly. Meanwhile, apps like shopkick reward consumers with "kicks" (i.e., loyalty points) when they walk into participating stores, which can then be redeemed for gift cards.
Shoppers are interacting with gift cards on mobile devices at exponentially increasing rates, and that's something that retailers can't ignore. Retailers who make it easy for customers to buy, send and redeem mobile gift cards will be able to capitalize on this growth. By partnering with mobile apps, retailers can reach even more consumers and employ more promotional opportunities.
Mike Fletcher is the general manager of InComm Digital Solutions, a provider of prepaid card and transaction technologies, products and services.