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‘Tis the Season for Virtual Gift Cards

December 10, 2012 By: Dave Dronkers

The National Retail Federation predicts that 81.1 percent of shoppers this year will purchase at least one retail gift card of some sort, spending an average of $156.86 – the highest amount in a decade. Total spending on gift cards will reach $28.79 billion this year.

In the past, customers who visited a restaurant’s site only had one option: purchase a standard, plastic gift card in a pre-set denomination and have it mailed.  Today’s shoppers are spending more time online and consequently E-gifting or the giving of virtual gift cards is becoming very popular.  People use their phones and computers for almost everything these days, so a virtual gift card is the perfect solution for gift giving.

The perks of virtual gift cards:

  • No expiration date
  • Easy to keep track of (online)
  • Comes with extra bonuses and discounts
  • Timely rewards last-minute, one-day sales incentive programs
  • Virtual Gift Cards cost less because of shipping costs
  • Can be customized with a photo and message
  • Are e-mailed instantly to the recipient
  • Senders can select whatever amount they want and choose a future send date
  • Guests who E-gift can also accumulate rewards through a loyalty program

This is the perfect time for restaurants to promote gift card sales both online and in-store. Most restaurants have an e-mail club, and this should be the first place you should turn to when marketing your gift cards. Not only do you have a group of brand enthusiasts, but they are also reading their e-mail while they are online.

Look at your current marketing platform for places to promote your online gift cards—banners on your website’s homepage, buttons on your staff’s shirts, table cards, and menu inserts, to name a few. Online gift cards lend themselves especially well to social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels.

Review your gift card program and update to virtual cards and complement the consumer wants and needs for gift giving this season.  Happy Holidays!

******

Source:  National Restaurant Association.

For your social media marketing and promotional needs, Contact Dave Dronkers at ddronk@gmail.com.

 

 


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