Restaurant gift cards are a hot commodity this holiday season. According to the NRF, more than 60% of people are hoping to receive a restaurant gift card during the holiday season. The great thing about gift cards is that you get to try new places you may not have tried on your own. Getting a gift card to a restaurant can take the pressure off that diner knowing that they can try a new restaurant and they will not have wasted their own money if they don’t like it. With that many people wanting what you are selling, you can be somebody’s hero by making it easy to get their holiday gift shopping done.
Don’t be the Holiday Armadillo, Be the Holiday Hero
Economists are predicting big things for gift card sales this holiday season. Blackhawk Network is reporting that consumers are planning on spending nearly half of their holiday budget on gift cards. They further anticipate an 18% increase from last year’s total amount spent on gift cards. The increase, according to Blackhawk, will be powered by increased spending from Gen Z.
Your customers are looking for easy solutions to their Christmas shopping needs. Be your customer’s hero by making gift cards easy to buy at your restaurant.
In a recent Klarna survey, 44% of last-minute shoppers say they plan on giving gift cards or money. As Christmas draws near, make sure your staff is reminding your customers that buying a gift card now will save them a trip later.
In addition to saving your customers the stress and hassle of end-of-year shopping, gift cards are good for your business. Not only do you get immediate cash flow, but it is a great way for your customers to advertise your restaurant for you, bringing in new customers. Studies have shown that customers who buy with gift cards, usually spend more than the value of the gift card, meaning your revenue continues to grow.
Gift cards also increase customer loyalty. For those rare occasions when your customers are less than satisfied with their experience, gift cards can go a long way toward restoring that relationship. Rewarding your best customers with a gift card on their birthday or anniversary can win their hearts and keep them coming back.
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Your customers will likely have different preferences for gift cards depending on their age. Many of your older diners will prefer physical gift cards and coming into your restaurant to purchase them. But a majority of your younger customers will prefer to handle everything electronically.
These younger diners showed their desire to buy online gift cards when they helped drive sales in that channel up by 106.1% year-over-year in December 2020. Your gift card solution needs to be flexible enough to meet your customers’ preferences and your business needs.
The solution you choose should also be able to be used at single locations or restaurant chains with multiple locations. Customers should be able to reload the same cards when they want to. Don’t make your customers wait for their gift cards. Authorizations should be fast enough that your customers don’t have to wait around for them. It also helps you and your customers to have easy access to balance and usage history.
The generational differences among consumers become starkest when you look at where your customers like to make their purchases and eat their meals. Younger customers prefer to not leave their homes, whether they are buying gift cards or using them.
A recent survey by Klarna found that 79% of all consumers left their end-of-year shopping to the last minute and planned on buying most of their presents in the last two weeks before Christmas. The same survey found that 55% of these last-minute shoppers plan to purchase gifts online. Profit from these procrastinators by offering them an easy gift they can access from the comfort of their couch.
A digital gift card program that is worth its salt should offer consumers the ability to purchase eGift cards for others or for themselves. This process should be as simple as entering the recipient’s email address and receiving the confirmation.
These eGift cards can be stored in digital wallets on your customers’ smartphones and are reloadable so they can be used indefinitely.
Offer a solution that makes gift giving easy for every type of customer, regardless of their age or preference in how they shop. No matter how your customers like to shop, be there for them with a great offer for a tasty gift. Your customers already love your restaurant. Let them share that love with their friends. And while they do you can channel your inner Enrique Iglesias by singing “I Can Be Your Hero, Baby.” Just sing it quietly.
Want more information on gift card programs? Contact us today.