Selecting a B2B Gift Card Vendor – 5 Things to Consider

by Tom Knaus

b2b gift card

 

Approximately 50% of U.S. businesses use gift cards to reward or recognize employees and customers, so it is not surprising that B2B gift card programs are a hot topic in retail today. To ensure that your gift card is included in a corporation’s offerings, you’ll need to start a B2B program and partner up with a card vendor that not only knows how B2B gift card programs work, but also has the capabilities required to fulfill your cards in a timely fashion. B2B gift card programs come in many shapes and sizes, so a vendor with flexibility and extensive knowledge is key to a successful implementation. Here, we’ll take a look at 5 things to consider when selecting a B2B gift card vendor.

Selecting a B2B Gift Card Vendor

1. Integration.

One of the keys to a successful relationship between a merchant and their B2B gift card vendor is a willingness to integrate into a current operating system. Developing a new system or interface can take a tremendous amount of time for your IT department to deploy. Why not let your gift card vendor help? A vendor who is willing to adjust their operation to suit your needs is a sign of things to come, not just on the initial project, but as the relationship develops. If your program is relatively small and simple, it doesn’t hurt to ask your vendor for recommendations. At the end of the day though, you’re looking for help for your unique program, not a box to be forced into. Remember, in B2B, a vendor becomes a partner, and you want one who demonstrates that attitude up front.

2. Adaption/Solutions.

Did you know that there are a number of different ways to fulfill B2B gift cards? They can be pre-printed and pre-numbered, and added to or pulled from inventory to match up with an order. They can be pre-printed, numbered and even personalized on-demand. Or, they can be fulfilled by print-on-demand where you have zero-inventory and everything is processed in real time. B2C programs have even more solutions. Make sure your prospective vendor is aware of, and can guide you through, which solution is best for you. There is no right or wrong, just a better fitting solution for your program.

3. Quality.

A reputation for quality is a must! The vendor should be able to provide you with a list of referrals that are thrilled with their service and have been for years. When looking at a vendor’s quality management system (first, make sure they have one), ask the following…Do your systems have electronic verification of the product, and notifications of shipping? Can you walk me through the process and explain how each step is designed to prevent duplicates, missing cards, late orders, etc.? An established quality control will help you sleep at night!

4. Security.

With B2B we’re talking money – sometimes large denominations of money. What kind of electronic system does the vendor have to notify you when an order has shipped? Do you want confirmation of receipt before you activate the cards? Can they build a password system that reliably insures you that the customer is the one receiving the cards and authorizing them to be activated? What certifications do they have from outside audits that makes you comfortable with their internal security and data processing?

5. End-to-End.

When looking for B2B gift card vendors, you’ll want one that can provide everything under one roof. Can the vendor provide solutions for all of your B2B and even B2C needs? Can they provide B2B2C in support of businesses who want the cards sent to employees or customers in the mail? How about creative packaging? Can the vendor help you with an upscale solution that might be used for a special reward program or holiday-oriented gift?

In conclusion, you’ll want to work with a gift card vendor that has a depth of knowledge in B2B fulfillment, can customize a program that meets your unique requirements, has a proven track record of managing other merchants’ B2B programs and provides attentive customer service that makes you feel like a big fish in a little pond.

 

Can CPS Cards help with your gift card fulfillment program? Contact us or call 888.817.8121 to schedule your free consultation.

 

 

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