Durango, Colo. – Nov. 21, 2013 – With the holidays right around the corner, small businesses are feeling the pressure to get customers through their doors. Local merchants are finding new ways to use stored value cards to promote and grow their business both online and through in-store promotions.
“Increasingly, we’re finding smaller merchants take their cues from big box retailers about how to market and sell to their customers,” said Travis Priest, vice president of value added services at Mercury Payment Systems, LLC, a leading payment technology and service provider for small to mid-sized businesses. “Local businesses have always had an edge on mega-retailers by being able to offer better customer service and a more positive in-store experience. Increasingly, they have access to technology tools integrated directly into their point-of-sale system that helps them leverage this advantage and reach out to more shoppers.”
For example, many smaller retailers are using customized gift cards to take advantage of the growing popularity of stored value cards to grow their customer base. Sixty percent of American consumers would like to receive gift cards during the holiday season according to recent findings of the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2013 holiday consumer spending survey. This is the seventh year in a row consumers cited gift cards as the most desirable gift on their wish list according to the NRF.
Local merchants are using integrated point-of-sale services like MercuryGift, which allows merchants to customize the cards with their brand and market the cards to their most loyal customers as a holiday gift idea. Mercury’s gift team works with merchants to develop ways to develop these types of marketing campaigns for their gift cards, such as creating customized promotional mailers.
Even nonprofit groups such as zoos and nature centers are finding ways to benefit from holiday shopping and consumer demand for gift cards, said David Mimeles, vice president of Doubleknot, a software solutions company for nonprofits and membership-based organizations.
These organizations can reach out to their loyal member base and offer them gift cards that they can send to friends and family members to be redeemed throughout the year. “When someone purchases a gift card, they’re offering more than just financial support. Gift cards are a great way for the giver to share their appreciation of the organization and spread its message to their family and friends. So, gift cards provide nonprofits with more than just a financial benefit—they also serve as an important marketing tool,” Mimeles said.
Gift cards offer additional practical benefits, continued Mimeles. “Nonprofits like zoos and nature centers sell products both online and at their physical site. Our clients can accept Mercury gift cards for online purchases of tickets, memberships, and event registrations, and the customer can use any remaining balance at the location’s shops, concession stands, and kiosks.”
To simplify the promotional process, Mercury is adding the ability for merchants to order custom gift cards through its website. Merchants interested in purchasing custom gift cards from Mercury should visit http://www.mercurypay.com/merchants/#value-added-services. Merchants can order gift cards up until Dec. 1 in order to have them in stock for the 2013 holiday season.