Across the pond

Instant reward gives egift cards the edge

Michael Fletcher from Giftango Corporation gives his insights into running successful programmes that incorporate instant egift cards.


Participants in rewards programmes redeem points for billions of dollars of gift cards each year. The gift card has long been a leading reward in incentive and loyalty programmes. In the past 24 months, egift cards and digital gift cards have also been making their way into rewards catalogues. Many of the nation’s largest brands, including Amazon, JCPenney, Lowe’s, Nike, and Sears, were among the first to recognise the value of digital delivery and to launch digital gift card offerings. Today, more than 150 leading US brands offer digital gift cards that can be delivered to email or smartphone.

Why egift? There is a lot to like about digital gift delivery: the elimination of plastic and shipping is good for the environment, digital cards allow retailers to include videos and provide an engaging customer experience, and cards stored on a smartphone are convenient to carry. However, the driving force behind egift offerings is consumer preference. When given the choice between plastic and digital delivery, more than 80% of consumers choose email delivery of a gift card. A Bank of America Merchant Services survey found that 60% of people who select email delivery cite ‘instant delivery’ as the primary reason for their choice. A person can redeem their points for an egift card and make a purchase with the gift card in a matter of minutes. A traditional plastic card being delivered through the mail can take days to arrive. Preference for digital is so strong that when rival brands are set side by side and only one has a digital delivery option, the brand with digital gains market share.

Egift offerings are rapidly increasing, but with this rapid growth there are some important considerations when adding egifts to a rewards programme. Here are a few key things to look for:
Verified delivery – In order to ensure a great experience for your participants, it’s important to ensure egifts are not getting stuck in SPAM filters or blocked by SMS. Understand how your partner confirms delivery to the intended recipient.

In-store redemption – Most egift cards offered by leading retailers who have bricks and mortar locations can be redeemed in stores. If the egift can only be redeemed online, it is important that redemption options are communicated to the participant during the selection process.

Printable and mobile – While redemption from mobile is growing, the majority of egift cards are accessed via email and printed as opposed to being displayed from a mobile. Egift cards that can be presented in both mobile and printable formats position the programme for the future and support the delivery methods that participants prefer.

When managed correctly, your participants will be happy to see egift cards in their reward portfolio.

Giftango powers digital gift card delivery for leading retail brands and incentive, loyalty and rewards programmes that deliver egifts in the US and Canada.

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