Thursday, March 15, 2012

Technology Brings New Life to Gift Cards

Gift cards have become an increasingly popular gift among consumers for a variety of reasons. They are easy to purchase, can be set to any needed value and most importantly give the recipient a great deal of freedom in terms of when they are used and what they are used for. Rather than having to face the possibility of having to return an unneeded or duplicate gift, the recipient can simply use the card for what they happen to need or want. Finally, gift cards also provide flexibility, by not limiting the recipient to a single item or shopping trip. 

Gift Cards and Company Promotions

By using smart or magnetic stripe cards, a company can produce flexible gift cards that can be tailored to a wide variety of purposes. For example, promotional deals could be tied to all cards purchased during a certain period, and those cardholders could continue to benefit from the promotion, even if they used their gift cards after the end of the promotional period. Another use of gift cards would be to allow purchasers to accumulate credit towards various promotional items. 

The Long-Term Benefits of Gift Cards

In addition to their short-term benefits, a gift card can easily have more value placed on it by the customer. This can be especially attractive to parents who wish to give their children their first taste of using a debit or credit card, without the drawbacks such cards present. 

The Benefits of On-Site Card Printers

However, the utility of gift cards can be dramatically enhanced by the use of on-site card printers. Rather than being restricted to whatever design an outside vendor has in stock, a company can print up cards with their own logo, decorative design or address. Another use, one that will make gift cards even more popular, is to allow patrons to have their photo, or that of the intended recipient, printed on the card’s surface. This ability to personalize the gift card for its recipient will enhance its value, as well as help build customer loyalty toward the company that has made this option available. Even better, inexpensive card printers can give the company this capability for a very reasonable price. 

Gift Cards in a Competitive Market

With card printing systems, a company can increase its flexibility, competitiveness, and its ability to gain and maintain consumer loyalty. Especially in today’s retail sector, such benefits are a vital part of maintaining a company’s ability to prosper in the market. As a marketing strategy, gift cards and on-site printers are clearly the key to forging a winning combination. 

Image by arvindgrover and licensed through Creative Commons. 

Steve Stoltz is a sales representative at CardPrinter.com, a Plastic Card Printer retailer that offers Pre-Printed Cards for loyalty or gift card programs.