In our last blog post, we covered the step-by-step guide to setting up a gift card program for your business. If you read that post and have decided to offer physical gift cards to your customers, then there are a few more steps you will need to take to get started.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to choose the right type of physical gift card for your business, how to integrate them with your POS system, how to select a vendor for your physical cards, and what state and federal laws may be applicable. We will also compare and contrast a few different vendors for physical gift cards and discuss their pros and cons. Let’s get into it!
Choosing the Right Type of Physical Gift Card
When it comes to choosing the right type of physical gift card for your business, there are two main types: magnetic strip and barcode models.
Magnetic strip models are more traditional and easier to track than barcode models. This will help your business track gift card usage data which can be used to develop smarter marketing campaigns. However, magnetic strips can be more expensive due to the cost of the equipment needed to read them.
Barcode models are less expensive, but they can be harder to track and require more time to process. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of physical gift card is best for your business.
Plastic gift cards are the most common material, but some businesses also opt for paper or even metal options. Your vendor selection should include a range of materials and printing styles to match your business’s needs, but paper and plastic are favorable because they are more durable
Choosing the Right Vendor
Once you have decided on the type of physical gift card that you like, it’s time to choose a vendor. Choosing the right vendor is essential as they will be responsible for printing and delivering your cards.
Do some research on local gift card vendors in your area. Shipping costs may be less inexpensive from vendors that are nearby, but national companies that do larger business may have cheaper bulk prices. Here are some potential physical vendors that your business can explore:
When selecting a vendor, consider how quickly they can produce and deliver your gift cards, how secure their ordering system is, how experienced they are in printing gift cards, how competitive their pricing is, and how well they can meet any special needs or design requests you may have.
Remember to read reviews on the vendors you are considering and compare prices before making a final decision. Also, make sure that your vendor selection is compliant with applicable laws concerning gift cards. Some of these gift card laws include expiration dates, how sales tax is applied, how customers must be informed of how to replace lost cards, how much money can be loaded onto a single gift card, and how unclaimed funds should be reported.
If you have an in-house graphic designer, work with them to develop an artwork proof for the plastic cards. However, if you don’t have a professional designer on your team, you should seek out a vendor that also offers design services and design templates. Prepare your artwork setup questions and make sure that the vendor offers full-color printing.
Ordering Your Physical Gift Cards
Once you have narrowed down the type of gift card and vendor that you want, it’s time to order them. You will need to decide how many cards to purchase based on anticipated demand and how much money each card should be worth.
Your vendor will provide you with a template to place your order and how much each card will cost. In most cases, the more cards you purchase, the lower the per-card cost will be. Order a bulk of gift cards for the next quarter or two and develop an inventory tracking and re-ordering plan so you never run out!
Integrating Your POS System
Once your gift cards have been ordered, it’s time to integrate them into your POS system. Your vendor should be able to provide you with a code that works within your existing software, allowing customers to purchase gift cards at the checkout counter.
You may also need to make sure that your in-house payment processor is updated with any applicable laws relating to gift cards that we discussed earlier.
You may need support from your POS supplier or your IT team for the gift card setup. Consult with them before you order your new cards to confirm that gift card functionality with your POS system.
Setting up a physical gift card system for your business can be a great way to increase sales and build customer loyalty. By thoroughly researching different types of cards, vendors, and applicable laws, you can set yourself up for success in the long run!
Exploring Digital Gift Card Options
As a supplement to your physical gift card system, there are a variety of digital gift cards you can offer. Digital gift cards are becoming increasingly popular for businesses as they require no shipping or storage costs and can be issued quickly and conveniently via email, SMS, or on an app.
DigitalGift offers pocket-friendly digital gift cards and loyalty cards for businesses of all sizes. Contact Us to learn more about how we can help you boost your business with a digital gift card program.
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