There are lots of ways to reward customers: freebies, coupon codes, birthday discounts - you name it - it has all been tried. However, more and more businesses are now opting for gift cards to reward their customers, and there are lots of good reasons for this. Not only are gift cards hugely popular among consumers, they also have lots of advantages for your business as well, so we’ve put together a small guide on why and how to use gift cards as customer incentives. After all, what could be a better reward than a gift?

What Makes Gift Cards Perfect Consumer Incentives

Let us start off with the main reason gift cards work so well in rewards programs: consumers like them. They give them more choice and they make them feel more valued than any other kind of customer reward. Other types of rewards, like freebies or discounts, give the customer much less choice over what they are getting as a reward. Giving them the freedom to pick ‘freebies’ with their gift card balance makes the shopping experience a more personal and enjoyable one.

The reason why customers feel more appreciated when they receive a gift card from your business through us is that it feels more like being given an actual gift as opposed to a sales incentive alone. If you offer a free Costa gift card or Starbucks voucher when your customer hits a purchase milestone, for example, they will be glad to be treated to a cuppa and connect this great experience with your brand. This way, you will be one step ahead of rewards programs which simply ask the customer to contribute more and more to the business’s profit. Customers who have been given a reward without consideration for future profit are much more likely to return to your brand with positive feelings, because they feel they have been given the choice to come back for more out of their own free will. When given the choice, they are more likely to return the appreciation and become more loyal to the brand, especially if they feel they might be receiving more gift cards in the future. The personal gifting experience is sure to leave them wanting more and expressing their gratitude on social media. Their engagement with the brand will also strengthen their loyalty while giving your business extra publicity.

Gift cards work so well, because out of all rewards, they give customers maximum control over how to spend their rewards and when to purchase more from your company making them most popular with customers. Receiving their favourite type of reward and the positive experience in turn builds brand loyalty. At the end of the day, who wouldn’t like to receive a treat?

What Gift Cards Can Do for Your Business

Needless to say, by giving your customers their most-loved reward, their strengthened brand loyalty will act as a sales incentive. However, there are many more perks that gift cards will bring to your business. One that we have touched on before is that the shopping experience which gift cards provide makes for happy customers who like to share their joy with others. Sharing this positive feedback about your business on social media or by word of mouth is a great way to spread brand awareness and expand your customer base, in other words, free marketing.

Gift cards can also provide invaluable insight and data on your customers’ preferences and spending habits. Gaining more data will not only help your business tailor your marketing campaigns, but also to refine your loyalty scheme or rewards program itself. Additionally, sending a gift card as a customer reward is a great reason to engage with the consumer several times. Surprising a customer with the happy news that they have received a gift card can be a very effective way of securing their satisfaction, and reminding them at a later date that they have got a gift card balance to spend will recreate this experience. Customers generally value being reminded of having money to spend rather than having to start a frantic search into the gift card’s T&Cs to see if it will still be valid after months.

Most importantly, however, rewarding customers with a gift card can turn inactive customers into active ones; whether they purchased something from you a while ago, or just signed up to your mailing list at some point and still haven’t been sprung into action yet, offering a Just Eat gift card or a Deliveroo voucher as a reward for purchasing a promoted item might just be the right incentive to turn them into active and loyal customers. After all, who would say no to a free meal?

What to Reward

If you’ve been thinking about taking gift cards on board as your consumer incentive, you can order them in bulk with no added fees from Gifts & Vouchers - simply visit our Gift Cards for Business site for details. Among our wide range of popular gift cards, you will be sure to find the perfect, personal reward for your customer reward. Once you have your gift cards, it is important to consider what sort of behaviours you could be rewarding. Of course, brand loyalty is very important, but engagement can be just as important if not more. Offering gift cards for reviews or shares on social media is a great way of using this marketing incentive, because this positive publicity spreads brand awareness again, reminds friends and family of the brand who are potential customers as well, and improves engagement on your brand’s social media accounts or website, which will drive more traffic to them in turn.

On the other hand, instead of offering a gift card, so that people will write a review, for example, you could also reward people who have left a review without incentive. Again, the element of surprise will make it a very satisfying gifting experience and the recipient will definitely feel valued without having expected it. In addition, gift cards could be a great incentive to push a promoted offer, an engagement campaign run by your company, or referrals by friends and family.

Bulk buying gift cards without any additional fees with us to reward your customers has never been easier. Simply pick a popular brand, like a John Lewis gift card, and start growing your loyal customer base.