In the digital era today, all kinds of physical products are going digital for the sake of convenience and efficiency. Gone are the days of carrying around a heavy wallet, since there are gadgets like Coin now to store all your credit cards into a single card. The same phenomenon goes for gift cards - in the past you had to go to the actual store to purchase a physical gift card, but nowadays you can buy a last minute e-gift card for your loved ones online and send it to them by email.
Gift cards have actually been around since Neiman Marcus became the pioneer of this service in 1994, but at the time customers did not understand their potential or value. However, in 1995 Blockbuster boosted its popularity and hence launched the gift card evolution. Nowadays, gift cards are the most popular gift in the United States, as all sorts of big brand companies such as Best Buy, Target, Steam and Amazon provide physical and digital versions. So if you are pressed for time or lack ideas for a gift idea, e-gift cards are just a click away and you can give someone the gift of choice!
Other than providing e-gift cards, companies are also taking advantage of the digital platform by offering online services for customers such as loyalty cards and membership programs. Brand loyalty is crucial when it comes to creating a long term relationship between a customer and a company, therefore businesses use these kind of benefits to attract customers. Usually these benefits accumulate and increase in time, therefore this helps companies to build a long term relationship with a customer by rewarding them for their loyalty.
If you are an avid shopper, it is probably difficult for you to keep track of all your favourite brands and purchases in one place. This is why startup companies like Giift.com have created a large digital database for customers to manage all their gift cards, memberships, loyalty and mileage programs all in one place. Giift operates the largest loyalty and card programs network, with 1,200 loyalty and card programs, including 500 track balance programs in more than 50 countries.
Labelled as the “Linkedin of the Loyalty and Card Programs” by its CEO Pascal Xatart, the company aims to create a platform for businesses to better engage with their customers and employees through their programs, drive retention, sales and performance, gather business intelligence and improve program sociability. In its initial stages of development, Giift already addresses a market of 1 billion beneficiaries and an underlying industry of $750 billion.
Internet users simply have to register for a free account to upload all their loyalty, membership programs and gift cards to their portfolios. Once the portfolio is set up, they can easily keep track of their balances and unused gift cards or programs. There are various ways users can reap the benefits of their membership programs and gift cards - they can either shop online and redeem their points directly from their portfolios, or they can sell or exchange their points or values online. For example, you can turn your Starbucks points into miles for your next trip! Since users can also add friends to this network, they can inform them on interesting promotions, offers and exchange values or points with them.