Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 62

BY CURTIS KLEINMAN

Electronic Retailing Can Benefit from Gift and Loyalty Cards Programs
CHANNEL CROSSING: PAYMENT PROCESSING
As an e-commerce retailer already gathering customer information, you have the ability to market directly without any affiliate costs or lead generation fees. How? By offering your customers gift and loyalty cards. Gift and loyalty cards are a way to drive traffic to your e-commerce website. There you can engage your customers while they check their account statuses by posting press releases and articles about your product. Make sure you have a quick link to purchase from your website. Your business also can offer steepening discounts. For instance, if a customer spends $250, offer them a $15 credit to spend in your store. If they spend $500, offer them a $35 credit, or if they spend $1000, offer a $100 credit. There is no cheaper way to market to your customers than a clever e-mail campaign. You can experiment with different offers and see which one converts to sales the best. Because they’re your existing customers, you’re allowed to market to them legally. You can announce the launch your new product line or special events to your existing happy customer base. For many businesses, gift cards, loyalty programs and rewards cards are an untapped resource that can bring cost-effective revenue and visibility. Branding your business and encouraging people to come back is something every business owner is focused on. Gift cards and loyalty programs are great ways to maximize your marketing efforts. Many businesses can increase their revenue streams by up to 30 percent or more by implementing an effective gift and loyalty card program. Many direct response and e-commerce marketers use gift cards for higher ticket items. These gift cards are usually purchased by campaign managers and product owners for pennies on the dollar. Plus, you can give the consumer a free $100 gift card to incentivize a purchase. A gift card is issued by a retailer to be used as an alternative payment method. A cash value is loaded on the gift card, which can only be used in your store or for your product. Gift cards come preloaded for you or the amount of the card can be loaded by you at your location with the customer present. Typically, people spend at least 30 percent more money with your business when they’re using a gift card because they cannot receive change or cash back. Often, gift cards aren’t redeemed and as a result you’ll earn 100 percent profit for the entire gift card amount or any portion that is not used. On average, 20 percent of gift cards are never redeemed by consumers. Often they are thrown in the drawer and ignored. Sometimes they have an expiration date preventing redemption. Many are simply lost. Gift cards are great ways to attract new customers to try the product or service you offer. Consumers benefit from gift cards because rather than receiving a gift they’re not interested in or have to return, they can purchase exactly what they want in any quantity they choose. A loyalty card provides some future benefit for your customers. Loyalty card rewards can include a discounted incentive to shop again or a generous store credit triggering a call to action. Customers can record points for money spent with you resulting in future sales for you, savings for your customers and many other benefits to your customers as creative as you can think of. Loyalty cards can help you track consumer behavior, including purchasing amount, frequency and which incentives or promotions help drive your business additional sales. Many direct response and e-commerce marketers use savings cards for higher ticket items. These savings cards are usually purchased by campaign managers and product owners for pennies on the dollar. For example, you can give the consumer a free $100 savings card to incentivize a purchase. “These savings cards enable the consumer to access exclusive discounts not available to the general public on popular items like travel, dining and shopping,” says Dominick Rinaldi, national account manager of Destination Rewards. If you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer, you obviously have the safety of less cash on hand. All your transactions are going through a payment Gateway in the PCI-compliant fashion with less cash to be stolen by criminals who work for you or don’t. Gift cards reduce paperwork because transactions are handled electronically. Customers will use your card at your location as an additional payment method that can’t be used elsewhere. The less cash your business has on hand the safer you will be. Your accountant will kiss you when he hears your business is safer and has taken some of the administrative burden off of his hands, and you’ll have a better managed streamlined POS system. E-commerce retailers should closely evaluate their existing loyalty and gift card programs and make sure they’re maximizing the opportunity right in front of them. Curtis Kleinman is vice president of business development at Swipe Payment Solutions (www. swipellc.com). He can be reached at curtis@swipellc.com or (310) 573-9019.

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electronicRETAILER | September 2012



Electronic Retailer - September 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - September 2012

Calendar of Events
Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Industry Reports
FTC Forum
eMarketer Research
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Letter from the Chairman
From the Executive’s Desk
All Aboard the D2C Train
Delivering Happiness
What Retailers Really Want
The Customer is Always Right
nuvoH2O Brings Home a Healthier, Cleaner Water Solution via DR
Guest Viewpoint
DRTV
Payment Processing
Legal
Advertiser Spotlight
Bulletin Board
Advertiser Index
Classifieds
Rick Petry
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - cover1
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - cover2
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 3
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 4
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 5
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 6
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Calendar of Events
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 9
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Industry Reports
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 11
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 12
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 13
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 14
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 15
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 16
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 17
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 18
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - FTC Forum
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - eMarketer Research
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 21
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - IMS Retail Rankings
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 23
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 25
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Letter from the Chairman
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 27
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 28
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - From the Executive’s Desk
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - All Aboard the D2C Train
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 31
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 32
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 33
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 34
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 35
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Delivering Happiness
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 37
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 38
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 39
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 40
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 41
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - What Retailers Really Want
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 43
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 44
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 45
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 46
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 47
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - The Customer is Always Right
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 49
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 50
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 51
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 52
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - nuvoH2O Brings Home a Healthier, Cleaner Water Solution via DR
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 54
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 55
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 56
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Guest Viewpoint
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 58
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 59
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 60
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - DRTV
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Payment Processing
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 63
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Legal
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 65
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Advertiser Spotlight
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Advertiser Index
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - 69
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - Rick Petry
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - cover3
Electronic Retailer - September 2012 - cover4
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