Let’s not beat around the bush much longer. COVID-19 has already made its mark on your business in the last few months. With authorities discouraging large gatherings and clamping down hard on social distancing measures, small local businesses are left in a precarious position. From the top-down, the message to all is “stay home”. If your business does not fall under the list of essentials needs, things may look rather bleak. From a financial standpoint, business transactions will take a hit. The mounting monthly expenses are likely to cause some cash flow constraints as well. To alleviate such financial pressure, why not consider having gift cards? Often, gift cards are associated with large scale businesses. Those that immediately spring to mind are Amazon or Starbucks gift cards. However, small local businesses can also benefit from gift cards – especially so in times like these.
Having gift cards creates a new avenue for your business’ earnings. It is bound to help with the financial trouble you are likely to be facing. On a practical level, gift cards also provide several opportunities to grow your sales. In the current climate, it may not be particularly realistic to expect a growth in sales per se. However, it can play a part in replacing the drop in foot traffic and face-to-face purchases. The major advantage for your business here is the immediacy of impact gift cards can bring. To add to that, they are quick, easy to produce and in this case, all done online.
Building a community
Gift cards can increase the likelihood of customers returning to your business, with the caveat that the COVID-19 situation slows down. As much as it can help build a stronger bond with long-term customers, it also gives new customers a way to be familiar with your business. If a loyal customer purchases a gift card for a friend, this expands brand awareness. Technically, your business benefits from giving your customers a chance to share their love of your products/services. From there, a personal brand connection with new customers can start. This then acts as the base of building a community of like-minded customers. The key here is to never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth.
Additionally, having gift cards helps you acquire valuable information from your customers. Their email addresses, for example, can now be part of your mailing list. This way, your business is able to communicate with potential customers whenever there are future promotions or updates. Of course, do ensure to have your customers’ full consent when collecting their personal information.
What about unused cards?
In all honesty, this is a situation no business will be aiming for. The point of having gift cards is to have them be redeemed or used at some point. Unused cards would mean a lost opportunity to expand brand awareness, create a personal connection, or build a community. The silver lining in this is that unused gift cards have already been purchased. Hence, even if they go unused or if there is a small amount left on the card, your business has already gotten the profit.
Instant Purchase with Delegate
We have launched a new Instant Purchase feature to make it easier for customers to find and support their favourite local businesses. List a gift card on Delegate to provide an avenue for your customers to buy now and enjoy your services later. To list your gift card, fill up this form here. Alternatively you can do it yourself on your Delegate PRO account via these steps. Also, do have a look at the set of terms and conditions here.
On top of implementing new features on our site to support our vendors, we’ve also launched an Event Business Support Hub to provide you with resources during this trying time.