Healthier than ever before, the gift card has changed its image and name: the industry is now talking about it as a “Branded Currency”.
This was discussed in Chicago at the Flourish Conference this month, where we at Amilon, had the pleasure of participating. The Conference was dedicated to the “blooming” of Branded Currency, be they gift cards, loyalty points or coupons. This currency is available to retailers to deliver their marketing strategies in a new way, to enable customer acquisition, to build loyalty, to give the customer a convenient and increasingly unique experience.
But why has the gift card changed its name and reworked its image?
Because the market is transforming it into a different product, one which is digital and for personal consumption.
So, no longer will there be only gifts and no longer will there be cards.
Digital, thanks also to Amilon, who has been a flag-bearer for more than 10 years, has now outgrown the physical dimension: with digital gift cards now received by e-mail, downloaded and spent by presenting the smartphone at the cashier.
In addition, digital allows the prize or the gift in real time: from the moment of desire to the purchase decision, this can be completed in just a few minutes, sometimes only seconds: I need to pay the bill, I enter the corporate welfare portal, I download a voucher and I pay in cash with my mobile phone. Here is the winning Customer Experience.
And why is a gift card no longer just a gift?
The gift dimension still exists, but also here always more digitally. Today the gift card is increasingly used for personal consumption, thanks to promotions that allow purchases at a discount, and if well activated by retailers, facilitates the acquisition of new customers.
Finally, gift cards are chosen mostly for personal consumption, within the fringe benefits programs of corporate welfare plans. Company employees have a budget made available to them in gift cards, convertible into credit for shopping vouchers, generally for the most useful purchases, from petrol to the supermarket.
This is why the gift card has become a “Branded Currency”, a powerful tool available to retailers and to companies to incent and motivate employees.
No more cards and ever fewer gifts.