As is becoming abundantly clear by the behavior of all the big box stores, gift cards are BIG money makers! No longer the flimsy paper certificates stuffed into stockings during the holiday season, gift cards are now purchased year round and represent one of the most popular offerings for all gift giving occasions for Canadians! Indeed, Statistics Canada estimates that Canadians spend upwards of $6 billion dollars a year on gift cards, according to PayPal.
This impressive figure alone does not account for the full embrace of the cards throughout the Canadian retail market- the lucrative nature of the cards lies in the behavior of the consumer, especially when merchants get creative!
Fact: Of the $6 Billion spent on cards each year, 21% goes unredeemed- that’s a full $1 billion in essentially free revenue for merchants who make this product available to their customers.
When customers do redeem their cards, 3 out of 4 consumers will spend more than the amount loaded on the card, once again bringing in additional revenue.
The cards can also be used in a number of creative ways to help you grow your business: are you a neighbourhood restaurant or dry cleaner? Consider leaving a preloaded stack of cards in local HR departments or rental offices of apartment building to become THE go-to place in your neighbourhood.
With a fully customized program, you can advertise your services on the front of your cards. A tattoo parlour can turn their cards into walking billboards by decorating them with examples of their art work. Alternatively, you can transform your gift cards into upscale business cards by including all of your contact information in your design. Imagine handing a prospect a pre-loaded gift card in lieu of a business card. That is sure to make an impression!
The prevalence of gift cards has been growing over the past 10 years and shows no signs of slowing down. Want to get your business in on the action? Contact us to learn about the variety of gift card programs that we can offer your business to help you compete with the big guys and continue to grow!
Addressing the Vancouver Board of Trade as the keynote speaker, the Managing Director of Google Canada, Sam Sebastien, took Canadian merchants to task for their slow adoption of digital technology. Sebastien expressed exasperation, claiming that the “bad slow” move towards these new technologies “does not compute.” Much of this exasperation is attributed to the fact that, in Sebastien’s words, “Digital leaders outperform their competitors in every industry…They have higher revenues, productivity, better market valuation. They just do better… Canadian businesses need to be embracing these tools.”
Sebastien’s claims regarding Canadian businesses are borne out by the data. Canadian businesses, especially in the small to mid-sized range, need to embrace digital technologies if they want to remain competitive with an increasingly tech savvy customer base. UPS recently released a study that affirms what many of us have known to be true intuitively, that technology has a strong impact on the buying habits of Canadians. From mobile searched to online shopping, purchasing decisions have never been as influenced by digital technology as they are now. According the Alan Gershenhorn, the executive vice president and chief commercial officer of UPS, “The future of retail is driven by ever increasingly sophisticated and savvy shoppers who research at home and in a store, but more are turning to mobile as capabilities improve for online product display and promotion.” Less intuitively, there is also evidence that suggests that you online store not only represents an alternative location for your customers to shop, but further drives traffic into your brick and mortar store. Given this information, Sebastien is wholly correct, Canadian retailers must adapt to the new digital commercial landscape lest they get left behind entirely.
Concluding with an ever-popular Hockey metaphor to describe Canadian business owners, Sebastien ended his speech on a note of optimism, stating that, “In many ways I think Canada is the fastest team on the ice. We’ve just got to harness those skills.” At EVO we’re committed to helping your business harness the necessary skills to compete in the Modern marketplace. From mobile responsive websites, to ecommerce solutions, EVO Canada is a one stop shop for your modern needs. If you want to learn, get in touch!