Gift Programs are an Essential Small Business Marketing Strategy

Why Gift Programs are an Essential Marketing Strategy for Small Business
Cardlis Applications Inc.

All business owners are familiar with Advertising, Direct Mail, coupons…  Sure, there are many ways to get your customers’ attention, But what will ultimately motivate them to enter your store, purchase your products or services? Adding Gift Programs to your business marketing is a smart way to engage customers and is a great segue to Repeat Customers and Loyalty Programs . Here are 7 Reasons Gift Programs are Excellent for Small Business:

  1. Perceived Value of FREE.

Unlike coupons, a gift card makes consumers feel like they have instant money to spend. Plus, over half of consumers using a gift card will visit more than once to deplete their card, providing additional selling opportunities and positive interaction with customers.

  1. Don’t cut into your profits.

You can offer loyal customers Pre-paid gift cards or Buy One Get One (BOGO) purchases instead of coupons or other types of discounts, you’ll recoup your investment quickly – DID YOU KNOW; Close to 70% of Gift Card Users OVERSPEND Gift Cards by Nearly 40%  !?

  1. Generate revenue and Invest the Cash without Selling Any products.

When you sell a gift card, you get paid in advance of any products or services rendered. You keep the cash until the card is redeemed. Not many marketing strategies will immediately improve cash flow like gift cards do.

  1. Build brand awareness.

Gift cards are a cost-effective advertising vehicle, giving your business top-of-mind presence. They’re like a wallet-sized billboard reminding customers to visit you, and they cost a lot less than a life-size billboard.

  1. Extremely convenient.

The evolution of Gift cards has promised more convenience than other types of promotional vehicles. Plus, retailers who move from paper gift certificates to plastic gift cards typically see a 50-100 percent sales increase from their gift offering. Recent moves to E-Certificates have skyrocketed Gift Program sales over 200% annually*.  Canadian company, Cardlis Applications Inc has made these transactions affordable for any small business by offering Online & Mobile Gift Card purchases but also ties digital loyalty into the mix! Both retailers and their customers can manage transactions with convenient Mobile APP’s.

  1. Additional promotional opportunities.

Some digital programs, like that of Cardlis, offer an expanded toolbox of promotional features including plastic to mobile gift card conversion, social media sharing, in-app promotions, merchant demographic services and more.

  1. Greater distribution for a Lesser Price

Gift cards have innately more promotional power than marketing strategies like advertisements, which have a limited lifespan. Cardlis is creating a buzz in local shopping networks and allows for customers to view Any Program at their convenience including remaining Gift and Loyalty Balances.  Promotional channels allow for product displays to many potential customers and shopper demographic data which was previously out of reach for small business is available starting at $15/month!

Bottom Line

Digital Gift Programs can offer huge increases in Small Business Revenue, Customer retention and Loyalty while maximizing labor inefficiencies. Most importantly, the right Digital Suite can strengthen the connection between your business and customers.


*Blackhawk Network, 2015

Loyalty Programs Are A MUST for Small Business!

The reason behind Customer Loyalty Programs are unique for every business BUT they all target the same goal: Repeat customers are rewarded and businesses increase sales. It’s a basic but powerful strategy.

For instance, My Starbucks Rewards, the coffee giant’s customer-retention program, significantly contributes to the company’s record growth.  Starbucks claims that the program played a key role in its 26 percent rise in profit and 11 percent jump in total revenue in 2015’s second quarter fiscal results.

Best Buy also turned to customer loyalty after experiencing stagnant revenue growth year after year in its brick-and-mortar stores. To keep up with major online retailers like and eBay, Best Buy increased reward points by 1% last year to motivate customers to keep coming back. This strategy along with additional changes has helped the company’s stock more than doubled since early last year.

Customer-loyalty programs appear to have become a staple for many large corporations. Whether the goal is to continually increase sales or to jump start sluggish revenue. But what about small businesses?  Manta’s business report “Achieving Big Customer Loyalty in a Small Business World” reveals that for early adopters who already have a customer loyalty program in placed, 64 percent of them report it’s been been effective, meaning it makes more money than costs to maintain it. It’s important for business owners to keep in mind that customer loyalty isn’t just for big businesses – programs can help any size business scale and reach new heights.

Here’s why customer loyalty programs matter to small business:

Repeat Customers Keep Giving. Having a customer-loyalty program could help you increase repeat customers, which, in turn could boost your business’s revenue. Based on the same report by Manta, a repeat customer spends 67 percent more on a given purchase than a new customer does. And they should be rewarded for this action, as retaining customers is less costly than acquiring new ones (9 Times Cheaper to be Exact!). By providing loyalty programs for current customers, small-business owners are not only saying thank you but are also motivating them to continue to be their brand ambassadors. They can easily spread the word about a business to their professional, personal and social networks, helping small-business owners increase their customer base even more.

Stand Above the Competition. It can be difficult for a small business to compete with a large brand considering that most large brands have more locations, resources, marketing dollars and the ability to offer lower prices. However, a good customer-loyalty program is an easy way for small businesses to show their personal side and remain competitive in spaces dominated by big business.

For example, many consumers may not love the coffee at a big-brand coffee chain but do love the fact they can earn points through their purchases and save money in the long run.  However, it would be very simple and cost effective for a small coffee-shop owner with quality coffee to do the same.

Customer Loyalty and Gift Programs don’t need to cost a fortune. Customer-loyalty programs don’t have to drain small businesses’ budget. While some corporations spill millions of dollars into loyalty programs, small businesses don’t have to follow the same tactic to achieve promising results. In today’s mobile era, cost-effective digital rewards programs are just as fruitful as the ones put in place by bigger players. Cardlis, a mobile APP which enables small businesses’ customers to earn points on their purchases by simply using their smartphones or printing secured certificates (from their accessible online accounts). In store efficiency is maximized with the removal of manual customer searches at checkout & Automatic customer account creation.  Gift Card sales are also available through Cardlis. You can also view all transactions in your Business Portal & use Cardlis on the road with their FREE Cardlis Merchant APP! Best of all, subscription price starts at as low as $15 per month. Small-business owners no longer have to waste time and money printing cards and buying ink and trying to fix a nightmare of improper customer account information when they are using Cardlis loyalty programs. More importantly, businesses are making it easier for their customers to keep using their service. Cheers to the end of Paper Punch Cards, Paper Certificates, Expensive Plastic Cards and yes….. Paper Cuts!

Use Peer Programs to Benefit Your Own. Sometimes “Another” loyalty card is that last thing new or existing customers want and finding a new method of engagement is tough.  Thankfully Cardlis also has this covered; Create promotions that are shown “In-APP” and are available to Every Customer Using Cardlis.

Collect Information. Loyalty Programs are a Great Tool to help you get to know your customer demographics and help you grow your business in its Target Market, Maybe you are in a market you never realized?

TIMES ARE CHANGING. It is IMPORTANT to consider the busy lifestyle of your customers.  Give them an easy and time efficient way to join programs, view points and/or gift card balances.  Without Easy…… Your Program Will Not Succeed How You Expect!

Customer-retention programs are not just for big brand name players. They can provide many benefits for small businesses, such as increasing sales, helping them stand out and developing a stronger relationship with their customers — and technology is making it easier and cheaper than ever before to launch one.