What We Mean When We Talk About Gift Card Innovation

Executive Overview: To be clear: gift cards aren’t going anywhere. Nor should they. They’re still a key part of any merchant’s gifting offering. They’re still a powerful tool for gift-givers who want to give someone the freedom to buy exactly what they want. But merchants who continue to use backward-looking gift card solutions are paying the price. Gift card innovation can help drive improved results.

Gift Card Innovation

Gift Cards could use an upgrade. (How’s that for a bold claim?) 

But seriously—how is it that in the age of incredibly delightful experiences, most digital gift cards are still a 12-digit number in the body of an email? Why is there so little personalization? Why are gift cards still built on decades-old tech? Is it any wonder so many gift cards go unspent, when the experience of getting them is so… forgettable?

To be clear: gift cards aren’t going anywhere. Nor should they. They’re still a key part of any merchant’s gifting offering. They’re still a powerful tool for gift-givers who want to give someone the freedom to buy exactly what they want. And they’re still a great way to convert gift-shoppers who don’t know what to buy—but want to buy something, as well as one of the most requested gifts.

But merchants who continue to use backward-looking gift card solutions are paying the price. 

Old technology may not focus on innovation and this lack of innovation can leave huge profits on the table. In the U.S. alone, the gift card market is projected to cross $221 billion by 2024.

The stakes are high. And gift cards haven’t really evolved in decades. That’s what we like to call low-hanging fruit. 

At GiftNow, we talk a lot about offering a gift card solution that’s innovation-led. Because, the fact is, we still believe in the power of the gift card. It just needs a little healthy disruption. 

Here’s the kind of stuff we’re talking about:

Delightful Unboxing Experiences

Yes, it’s a card. But it’s also a gift. That means that “opening” it should be a joyful experience. GiftNow offers delightful unboxing themes for any holiday or occasion and the ability to attach a note or a custom video message—the kind of stuff that turns a transactional experience into something heartfelt and personal.  

Flexible Sending Options

With GiftNow, digital gift cards are delivered virtually via text, IM, or email, and can be sent instantly or easily scheduled in advance. That means buyers have the option to set it and forget it—so they can get their shopping out of the way and know their gift will arrive right when it’s supposed to. Or, if you prefer, we can send out a personalized digital experience followed up by with a plastic gift card in the mail.

Promotional Campaign Capabilities

GiftNow makes it easy to run flexible promotional campaigns, and using gift cards to attract customers has advantages over similar promotions that use free products or discounts. For example, say you offer a $20 gift card if a customer buys a $100 gift card for someone else. You still get the full $100 in revenue, and the $20 acts as a cart starter and can drive multiple purchasers in the future. 

Part of the GXM Ecosystem 

GiftNow is more than just a gift card solution: It’s an overarching gifting strategy that covers gift cards, product gifting, and corporate gifting. You’re not just getting a better gift card program, you’re getting a holistic GXM solution that can transform the way you approach gifting and open up new opportunities.

Safe and Secure

GiftNow’s liability protection program helps maximize approval rates, reduce false declines, and covers fraudulent charges. Plus, security that meets industry standards, PCI Level 1 certification, and accessibility optimization ensure that you and your customers are protected.

Our proprietary fraud scoring system helps make sure that most every transaction is legitimate; it can approve up to 99% of gift card orders instantly. We’re confident enough in it that we cover any fraudulent credit card transactions—so you can worry less about losing money on a fraudulent gift card order.

Those are a few of the highlights—and just the tip of the iceberg. Because when your solution is driven by innovation, you’ll be positioned to adapt and grow your offering to continue to delight your customers with the kind of experiences that build brand loyalty and generate excitement around purchasing and receiving gift cards. And that’s what it’s all about. 

To learn more about GiftNow’s Gift Experience Management Platform for gift cards, visit our Gift Experience Management overview here. To get a copy of the new Incisiv gift card research for retailers, click here and for restaurants, click here.

Jenn Muller is the CMO for GiftNow.

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