Increase Revenue and Loyalty with Gift Cards

The holidays are fast approaching and gift cards are a must for any business. In fact, people love to give gift cards…a lot. In a 2018 Consumer Insights Study, 2,000 consumers were asked and found that more than 50 percent of their annual gifting budget goes toward gift cards, with 40 percent of consumers surveyed preferring gift cards over traditional gifts. Gift cards can be an effective tool for capturing more revenue, attracting new customers, and building loyalty, but to get the most value out of gift cards, you need a solid strategy.

So, here are some tips on executing a successful gifts cards program to help you grow your business:

1. Position yourself for holiday and occasion-based gift shopping − even if you’re not a retailer

Holiday and other year-round occasion-based shopping is still primarily a retailer’s game.

For small retailers, gift cards are a potential Goliath-slayer that can help them compete for gift shopping dollars against both online and brick-and-mortar retail giants. But gift cards also give non-retail businesses an opportunity to put themselves in the gift-giving mix. If you are a restaurant or service-based small business, you too can capture gift sales by offering gift cards. To do this, you’ll first need to create physical or digital gift cards. If you’re a Clover customer, you can use Clover Gift Cards to easily set up either or both types of gift cards, complete with custom branding.

After you’ve created your gift cards, you need to be intentional about marketing them to customers − a step that is crucial for success. To do this, send a series of emails to your customer list announcing the availability of gift cards and recommending them as a convenient and personal gift-giving option. Publish updates about your program on your social media accounts. Post signage inside your business, including your restaurant counter, host stations, bar and/or dining room tables, register area, waiting areas, and on your window. And train your staff to offer gift cards to patrons while they’re checking out or paying their bill. Up the ante with a prize to the highest-referring employees.

2. Have an in-store upselling strategy for gift card redemptions

You’ve sold gift cards and have the upfront revenue to show for it. It’s a great start, but the promise of gift cards for adding sales lift to your business doesn’t end there.

That’s because of the redemption process. When the gift card recipient comes to your business to make purchases, it offers your business an opportunity to earn even more revenue and attract more customers. On average, consumers spend $59 more than the original value of their gift card when they redeem it.

So roll out the red carpet when customers redeem their gift cards to further endear them to your business. Retail stores might consider keeping nicely-wrapped accessories behind the counter to add to their new customers’ purchases when those customers redeem their gift cards. This strategy can also work for appointment-based businesses: consider offering sample items that customers can use to extend the life of the service you have just provided. If you’re in the restaurant business, you can consider complimentary appetizers, desserts, or drink samples that are positioned as part of the gift redemption experience.

3. Intentionally promote repeat visits

Gift cards are a great opportunity to encourage repeat visits among new customers, and that increased lifetime value means a greater return on investment for your gift card program. Don’t leave this up to chance: here are specific actions you can take to increase the likelihood that gift card redeemers become loyal customers.

Leverage gift cards to build loyalty. A 2018 study showed that 61 percent of consumers surveyed said they prefer to receive a gift card as a reward for loyalty over a coupon or bonus.

Since gift card recipients are already using a card to make their purchase, you’re in a great position to add them to your loyalty program upon redemption. For example, if you typically offer $5 dollars in store cash for every $100 spent, and your new customer has just used their $100 gift card, then add a $5 credit to the same card as a “sign up bonus” for your loyalty program. The nice thing about this tactic is that while it will feel like an additional bonus to the recipient, who didn’t pay for the card in the first place, it will be business as usual for you.

Sign them up for communications. Your staff can also encourage gift card users to sign up to receive texts, emails, and/or mail. You can then offer an exclusive deal or bonus points to shoppers who have enrolled for the first time. (If they’re already on your mailing list as a gift card user, you can set limitations, so certain deals do not apply).

There are two primary benefits to this tactic: 1) You’ll capture their contact information, which offers you an opportunity to reach them with new promotions over time; and 2) You will force them to sign up with you before offering additional perks, increasing the likelihood that any additional deal will promote higher lifetime value for that customer − and a return on investment for your business.

4. Track your performance, adjust and repeat

While the gift-giving occasions can offer a nice boost in gift card activity, gift cards are a great marketing and loyalty tool that you can implement on any day of the year.

Here are two gift card program numbers that you should track for starters:

Redemption percentage. What percentage of gift cards sold are being redeemed? Again, while gift card sales represent upfront revenue for your business, redemption is where the real action is, offering an opportunity for you to collect additional revenue. Remember: people usually spend more than the original value of their gift card.

Average ticket size for all customers vs. gift card customers. This number is a great metric for gauging how much spending differs between these two customer types. We have to talk about lifetime value again here: if spending is relatively low during the initial visit, but that new customer comes back and spends with your business again, that could mean in terms of lifetime value, your gift card program is well worth the investment.

For more helpful insights about how consumers are using gift cards, and specific ways that gift cards can help grow your business, contact Orbis today!

6 Reasons Your Business Needs A Smart POS System Today!

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Are you still running your business on an old-school cash register? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent study, 56 percent of single-store retailers haven’t yet moved to a POS system. Although your old setup may put you in the same boat as more than half of your competitors. It also means you’re losing ground to 44 percent of your faster-moving peers.

Moving to a smart POS system can streamline your operations, providing a competitive advantage over the laggards while delighting your customers and growing your bottom line.

Here are six reasons why businesses like yours can’t do without a smart POS solution.

1. Cost savings

A little investment in a new POS system can go a long way toward supercharging your profitability. A recent study by Intuit revealed that a retailer generating $300,000 a year can save $30,000 annually by investing in a new POS system. No matter how much revenue your business brings in each year, saving 10 percent can deliver a huge impact on the bottom line. With so much money at stake, can you afford not to move to a new POS platform?

2. Improved customer experiences

We all know how frustrating it is to wait in a long line just to buy something so we can leave a store. Given a choice between stores with lightning-fast checkouts or somewhere that takes forever to ring you up, most shoppers will pick the first option. As such, it’s much more difficult to create loyal customers when checkout lines move like molasses.

A smart POS system vastly improves the customer experience by accelerating transactions and ensuring customers are always charged the correct prices. Beyond that, customers also get to use modern technology to round out their in-store experiences. Add it all up and this is a big deal, particularly because 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a product or service that’s accompanied by a strong customer experience.

3. Better control of inventory

Retailers walk a fine line between having enough inventory on hand and ensuring they don’t have too much inventory on hand. Without the right tools in place, this is a fairly tricky problem to manage—and can cost retailers dearly. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, U.S. merchants lose $224 billion each year because they have too much inventory, and they lose another $45 billion each year from not having enough inventory.

A smart POS system is much more than a technology-enabled cash register. Leading POS solutions give you a clear picture of your inventory at all times. Instead of enduring time-consuming inventory-counting exercises every quarter, you can stay on top of your inventory and save time and energy for more higher-value activities.

4. Access to customer purchase histories

Although loyal customers may account for only up to 15 percent of your customer base, their purchases can make up as much as 70 percent of your sales. This makes perfect sense: We all have our favorite brands and stores where we feel welcome and know we’ll have a great experience.

With the right POS system in place, you can develop a customer loyalty program to prompt your best clients to frequent your store more often. Leading systems enable you to create as many different loyalty rewards programs as you’d like—and change them at any time. The end result? Happier customers who are more loyal and will look forward to their next visit to your store.

5. Better business intelligence with robust reporting features

The more data you have access to, the easier it is to make informed business decisions. 
Leading POS solutions enable you to generate reports on your data in a myriad of ways—by time period, promotion, store, or clerk, to name a few. Some of the things these reports can determine include: 

  • Which products are selling the fastest

  • When your store is the busiest

  • Which marketing campaigns are most effective

  • Which employees are performing at the highest levels

6. Increased productivity through integrations

You might be able to take your retail business to the next level simply by investing in a smart POS system. But if your needs are more specific—or you rely on a number of other tools to run your business—look for a POS system that is extensible by design and can integrate with other hardware and software solutions. The right system offers flexibility and customization to support your company’s unique workflows. 
Ready to move to a better POS system?

A smart POS system has the power to transform your operations. The perfect solution will enable you to increase efficiency and gain more visibility into your business while enhancing the customer experience and growing your bottom line. What’s not to like?

Let Orbis help you find the right POS solution for your business today!

Industry Spotlight: Manufacturing

Eliminate the "net 30" with Orbis

Making things is your passion but waiting for payment is a drag on your business. Stop sending print invoices and eliminate the "net 30" wait for payments with Orbis. Improve your cash flow by accepting credit cards. Online credit card processing gives you the freedom to accept payments wherever you have an Internet connection including mobile and web store payments. With Orbis payment processing you can track transactions, create reports, view online statements and e-mail receipts to customers.

Orbis' payment processing solutions are designed for easy integration with your existing POS and management software as well as back office accounting solutions for seamless payment processing, transaction posting and reporting. In addition, Orbis offers complete online access to your transaction data and powerful Web-based reporting tools.

Build your business with Orbis services

Get paid sooner and grow!

Industry Spotlight: Restaurants

Putting your business on the front burner

When evaluating credit card solutions for Duck Donuts, there was no question as to my merchant service provider — it had to be Orbis. Every aspect of the way Orbis does business is truly the best of class. Their service levels are second to none. We couldn’t ask for a more responsive partner to meet our business needs.
— Duck Donuts

Cooking up the perfect restaurant recipe for success is a constant challenge. As a business owner, you look not only for the tools that separate your business from the competitors down the street but also create a joyful experience that diners will want to repeat over and over. Working with Orbis, we will empower your business to accept all the latest payment types your customers want to use while making an impression with your payment systems. From traditional registers to modern smart terminals, Orbis’ flexible solutions rise to meet all your processing needs.

Customers need options when they pay in retail or restaurant environments. Add a tip? Accept mobile wallets? Split the check? Orbis Restaurant Solutions offer all the options your customers are looking for and add in the options you need to run a competitive business. Orbis is here to help you create a banquet of success and grow your culinary dreams.

Restaurant services done right

Contact Orbis today for a free consultation and see just how much we can help you save!