B2B Gift Card Programs: The Benefits for Merchants
Each year, U.S. businesses spend more than $20 billion on gift cards for reward and incentive programs for customers, employees and sales teams. Corporations, scrip agencies, credit card companies, and incentive firms all rely on B2B gift card programs for various types of programs. This B2B sales channel is one that should not be ignored, as it is estimated that 25-50% of a merchant’s gift card revenue is driven from this source. Merchants should not only offer this type of program, but also properly market their B2B gift card program and make it easy for companies to place orders.
There are several benefits to offering a B2B gift card program (outside the additional revenue that is generated), here are just a few:
Increase brand awareness.
Imagine an employee browsing through an online “catalog” to pick out their 10-year anniversary gift from their employer. Just simply being present (among the choices) helps to increase brand awareness, especially if your company is growing or in the beginning stages of business. Around 75% of companies use non-cash rewards, which include travel, merchandise and gift cards – imagine how many eyeballs will see your brand!
Gain new customers, win old customers back.
Being on the “menu” of choices for an incentive or rewards program will help you gain new customers and perhaps help you re-engage former customers. Sure, there are a lot of factors in play as to which gift card the recipient will select, but at least you have a fighting chance if your gift card is present. Otherwise, “out of sight, out of mind.”
Compete in the marketplace.
It’s no secret that there is a lot of competition in the retail space, especially with the big online players. A B2B program provides you with another way to compete for your share of revenue dollars. Sure, you offer gift cards online, in-store and through third-party providers, but why not add another profitable revenue stream that will lessen the stress at the store and third-party level.
Give companies more options.
When you offer gift cards in bulk (and preferably at a discount) it allows more companies to add your brand to their programs, whether it’s a fundraising drive, a credit card program or a promotional incentive campaign. When merchants don’t offer an easy way to buy bulk cards (and re-order them), companies’ options are limited and their programs may suffer as a result.
A B2B channel can really give a boost to your gift card program. The key to success is finding a reliable and experienced gift card provider that offers B2B fulfillment with options that allow for easy ordering (and re-ordering) of cards.