Are Gift Cards Falling Behind?

Posted in Business tips on Jun 20, 2018

Gift cards have literally been around for what feels like forever. In 1994, Blockbuster created the very first plastic gift card to avoid counterfeit gift certificates. With all the advances in marketing that we’ve witnessed since 1994, the good old plastic gift card is still around and as prevalent as ever. Some things never change.

Of course, gift cards also exist in online form, but they are still somewhat behind when it comes to the overall digital transformation (especially in the last 5 years). Stores don’t necessarily know exactly where their gift cards get spent. While gift cards are a smart marketing strategy in the sense that they get customers in the door and encourage higher spending, they don’t really shine when it comes to learning about who the customers are. There isn’t a perfect way to track where/when/if a gift card was used. They are exactly the same as they always have been.

The fact that gift cards are still predominantly plastic can seem archaic to some people. While there are several pros and cons to having a tangible gift card, the piece of plastic seems quite far removed when everything else we deal with has become digitized. Some companies, such as Tim Hortons and Starbucks, now have an app that customers can pay with in lieu of pulling out their wallet. (Which I appreciate very, very much.) However, while transferring the gift card to an app that makes paying by phone possible, it still requires me to download an app specifically for that purpose, and there’s no way to simply link it to another account. There ends up being a whole lot of phone storage dedicated to different ways of paying for things that cannot be consolidated.

Short of using my debit card for everything, there is no 1 single “wallet” that can combine all my gift card balances, even if they come from different channels.

Eye-In Media can make this happen. We don’t like the idea of multiple platforms being needed when the end goal is the same. We bring all channels of communication together into one omnichannel platform where everything can get done. The best part? We’ll never ask you to download an app.