Employee Rewards: Gift Cards for Business
You’ve heard that Gift Cards are a billion dollar industry. But what does that actually mean for you as a business and why are gift cards for business suddenly so popular? If your interaction with gift cards started and ended at the paper vouchers back in the 90’s – then you won’t be surprised to know that times have changed. Now, most paper vouchers are defunct and instead you have a gift card in a plastic format, or an e-code that benefits from a digital delivery – be it in email, text, or even through a device, like a wearable.
However, although the delivery format is useful to know, it is worthless if you still have no idea why your business should have a relationship with a Gift Card provider or a Gift Card Broker and why corporate gift cards should even be on your radar. Here – we explain a couple of the reasons why.
Internal Uses For Gift Cards: Sales
If engagement is a bit ‘woolly’ for you (an issue we will absolutely help put to rest soon) then perhaps the promise of productivity can help? The truth is, employees are motivated by incentives. Often, competition is seen as a negative thing in business – it can breed rivalry and breakdown collaboration and team work. Workers faced with the pressure of competition can also experience increased stress levels which can impact their productivity and their health. However, when managed correctly competition can be an incredibly powerful business tool which drives engagement and motivates workers to achieve great things. Issues faced by sales people at the front of the business include a lack of focus, false opportunities, distractions and poor self-discipline; all of which can lead sales professionals to waste time on tasks unrelated to selling. Focus is key – and incentives work a treat.
Healthy competition in business can yield positive results for both workers and their organisation. The desire to achieve is a great motivator and can inspire greater creative thinking and a stronger sense of purpose. Competition under the right conditions can also encourage greater collaboration and team work, with individuals working together to share their expertise and skills in order to reach certain goals faster.
Whereas cash may be thought of as a great incentive, studies show that a note ends up in a wallet or purse and is soon absorbed into the daily costs of living. A Gift Card retains the value, without the absorption.
Other uses for B2B gift cards?
- Loyalty and long service awards
- Saying thank you
- Project completions
- Birthdays/ Maternity leave
Internal Uses For Gift Cards: Recruitment and Retention
Recent research has indicated that talented individuals are confident to move on again and businesses are having to play catch up with their career development agenda, with 42% of organisations planning to increase their investment in learning over the next 12 months. But despite the investment in learning, the research also found that, for 51% of companies, career conversations are only taking place on an annual basis. And when those conversations are taking place 25% of managers are not trained to be holding them. Source: Pro UK Consultants
Incentives help with team work and help to create a working environment that celebrates success. This in turn can help increase company loyalty. When people are incentivised and appreciated by a company, they are more likely to form an allegiance to them. Going from there – customers evaluate their impression of brands based on the amount of loyalty they feel towards them. This is often understood by brands who enlist the services of marketing agencies and firms in order to improve their overall reputation and appearance. In short, gift cards, alongside similar incentives and rewards – can all stimulate overall loyalty, affecting customers as well as employees.
External Uses For Gift Cards: Apology and Attraction
Gift cards actually date back to the first book token in 1930, however the gift card industry has rapidly grown in the last decade. According to the UK Gift Card & Voucher association (UKGCVA) the UK market is now worth £5.6 billion. 41% of the UK population would prefer to receive a gift voucher or gift card over a traditional gift according to a recent survey from YouGov commissioned by the UKGCVA. 35 to 44 year olds along with those over 55 have a highest preference for gift vouchers and gift cards (55%).
In 2015 gift cards were the most requested holiday gift item in 2015 for the ninth year in a row, according to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey. Approximately 58.8 percent of consumers said they would like to receive a gift card during the holiday season.
The survey polled a huge 7,276 consumers and was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, October 5-13, 2015. (The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.) With the rise in talk of millennials and smartphones, gift cards are seeing a resurgence. As well as cards that can be used to pay for apps and music, there is also the increased convenience of an eCode that is bring Gift Cards to the forefront of people’s minds. On top of this, the global gift cards market is valued just over US$ 307 Bn at present, and is estimated to progress at an impressive 10.8% CAGR during the forecast period, 2016-2024.
The takeaway? People like a gift card – if not for themselves – then for someone else. A stack work well when used for apology, when dished out as a thank you, a reminder, or as a really basic ‘value add’. If your product is over £10 – then you stand a very high chance of recouping your investment when you supply a £10 gift card for a retailer in your proposal, welcome pack or pitch meeting. This is an underused tactic that is so simple – and with digital delivery – there’s not even any postage.
We’d love to hear about your success with Gift cards. If you would like to purchase a B2B corporate gift card, why not email us for a recommendation?
Image used with thanks and credit to Leapfin.