Nowadays it seems like gift cards are the replacement for actual physical gifts. While some criticize gift cards as being insincere and not thoughtful, others believe that the greatest gift of all is to give the recipient the freedom to choose their desired product at a discounted price. But do we actually remember to use our gift cards?
With the array of consumer benefits available from various brands, it is hard to keep up with all the gift cards, memberships, loyalty programs and miles programs. According to estimate reports from the Journal of State Taxation, the typical American home has an average of $300 in unused or “unredeemed” gift cards, as they are often mistakenly misplaced, thrown out or only partially redeemed. As a result, this leads to a financial loss for both companies and consumers, as companies lose the potential profit of consumers spending more money on products, while consumers lose their benefits simply for being absent-minded.
Luckily the startup Giift has addressed this problem by creating an online platform where consumers can manage all their gift cards, loyalty programs, memberships and miles programs. Instead of fumbling around your wallet for your latest gift card, you can upload all the benefits online and see the total financial value of them. At the moment the Giift database already includes 1,200 loyalty and card programs, as well as 500 track balance programs in over 50 countries.
Another cool feature is that you can exchange your points or values online – for example, you can exchange the points of your Starbucks gift card and turn them into miles for your next big trip. Other than that, you can also add your friends on the network to buy, sell or exchange points online.
By creating a digital platform for gift cards and loyalty programs, companies can directly engage with the consumers, as they can easily notify them of upcoming promotions, discounts or offers without spamming their email inboxes. As the website is also available in multiple languages, this eliminates cultural borders and language barriers by creating a global community.
In the end, gift cards and loyalty programs help to build brand loyalty and give consumers more incentive to spend more money on the given brand. However, if the benefits go unredeemed, this defeats the purpose of creating a win-win situation between brands and consumers. As long as consumers remember to use their gift cards and loyalty programs, this will keep both parties satisfied.