Have you ever entered a contest or raffle where the organizers made it clear that “you must be present to win?” I can only imagine how many things I would have won had I stayed at various events and been in the right place at the right time as my name got called. Being present is often required to win, and is also a key to success for any business.
Over the last three weeks, I have been meeting with large, nationwide retailers – from San Francisco, to Chicago, to New York City—to introduce our newly-launched GiftBrands product. This product allows customers to personalize their favorite national brand gift cards. For example, we just added Build-A-Bear Workshop gift cards to our list of available merchants. So customers can now order either a regular Build-A-Bear Workshop gift card, or a personalized one. We have GiftBrands partnerships with a growing list of merchants including some great restaurants such as Outback Steakhouse and Morton’s The Steakhouse. We are able to offer this unique type of gift card because we have print-on-demand facilities and an online “gift card rack.”
As I meet with retailers large and small, local or nationwide, each understands that they, too, need to be in front of customers in order to sell their gift cards. And the one location a brand of any size needs to be is on the Internet. Consumers increasingly want to purchase cards online for many reasons, but the top two reasons are convenience, and the ability to create one-of-a-kind cards.
Because of this growing need, businesses are finding that they must better integrate their online/digital marketing experts with their gift card experts. In one of my recent meetings, I found one of the nationwide brands to be ahead of the game. They had broken down the silos of e-commerce and gift cards, two different groups, and had formed a team working together to maximize the number of gift cards purchased online, whether at the merchant’s own site, or on a potential partner’s site – in this case, www.GiftCards.com.
The prize is out there to be won, and, in the case of commerce, the prize is more customers. And while the line between e-commerce and gift cards is blurring, the line of people going to online sources to buy cards is growing. So, if merchants want to maximize the purchase and redemption of gift cards at their stores, they must also be present online to win.
~~ Steve Dimmitt, former CRO at GiftCards.com