By Mélanie Larouche
Over $6 billion is spent each year on gift cards in Canada. Consumers are increasingly turning to gift cards, yet many merchants are unaware of their benefits.
Whether you're a massage therapist, decorator, boat dealer or music teacher, this payment method is suitable for all types of business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses.
As the holidays approach, find out why more and more merchants are choosing to offer gift cards.
1. An underrated avenue for growth
Gift cards are convenient, easy to manage, and help retain existing customers and attract new ones. But do you know to what extent?
Here are some compelling statistics:
- Canadians spend an average of $200 a year on gift cards.
- 55% of people who use gift cards come back more than once to spend the full amount.
- 41% of people will visit a new store because of a gift card they've received.
- 21% of people spend more money than the amount of the gift card.
- 21% of people won't use the total balance of the gift card.
2. An effective promotional tool
Not only do gift cards increase customer traffic and therefore sales, but they're also an opportunity to implement promotional tactics that benefit everyone.
Offering a $50 gift card for every $250 spent for a set period of time rewards everyone. It gives customers a 20% discount on their next purchase and gives merchants the assurance of seeing these customers back in their store.
Offering a bonus $20 gift card to spend over a set period of time with the purchase of a $100 gift card helps to build customer loyalty, just like the rewards.
The law doesn't require merchants to have a refund policy. However, merchants can decide to refund purchases onto a gift card, if the item is returned after their set refund period. This can be a good solution for both the customer and the merchant.
3. A great way to advertise
Another important benefit of the gift card: it serves as a business card! Printed with your branding and sporting a catchy slogan or theme, this card is an opportunity to display a modern and trendy image for your establishment.
Of course, gift card programs aren't free; you'll need to buy the cards, pay for the graphic design and pay monthly fees. But in turn, plastic cards are a lot more practical than traditional paper gift certificates.
These customer loyalty opportunities are invaluable and the message they reflect promotes a positive image and supports the reputation of your business.