The Big Benefits of Gift Cards for Small Retailers
Gift giving can be hard, which is why an increasing number of people no longer even try to stress themselves out too much trying to find the perfect individual gift. Instead, they are taking the attitude that if they want to give a gift that will be sure to make the recipient happy they will give them a gift card for one of their favorite retailers instead.
There is research that backs the wisdom of this thinking up. The National Retail Federation reports that 62% of consumers prefer to receive a gift card over pretty much anything. This is especially true of Millennials and Gen Z er’s, who according to another report, also purchase more gift certificates – especially e- gift certificates – than anyone else.
As a small retail business owner there is, says the NSF, another big benefit of offering gift cards; according to their report most gift card recipients overspend its value at redemption time.
The time, cost, and redemption barriers that once made the gift card more of a hassle than it was worth are over. Creating a gift card system for your small business is now easy and inexpensive.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you create custom gift cards for your business.
Working With the Right Supplier
As gift cards become more popular, it is hardly surprising that the number of companies offering to supply them to small businesses is increasing. One of the best options for a small retailer, for both physical and e-gift cards is Square. Branded e-cards are offered free and plastic, physical alternatives start at 75¢ each with a 75 card minimum. The cards can be redeemed via any Square reader and the merchant receives the funds instantly.
Make Sure Everything is Legal
By Federal law, a gift card must have an expiration date greater than five years from the date of issuance or when funds were last loaded to the card. In some states, you may be able to claim the cash value of unused cards after the expiration date. Other states require that you report the unused cards as unclaimed property. If you are unsure of the laws that govern your business Title IV of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 outlines the basics for you.
Promote, Promote, Promote
Gift cards are popular but in order for customers to buy them they have to know they exist. While consumers expect that large retailers will offer gift cards they are less familiar with the idea of a small business doing so. That means it is up to you to make sure that you are a small retailer that does so.
In addition to actively promoting gift cards in your store and/or on your website ensure that you spread the word to both your email subscribers and your fans and followers on social media. And don’t just do so around big holidays, people buy gift cards all year long so make sure your customers and prospects are aware of the fact that you always have them available.