In our last blog post, we covered the benefits and types of gift card systems. In this post, we will go into more depth about some steps business owners need to take to set up a gift card system.
This includes finding a supplier, researching the applicable gift card laws for your state, building gift card functionality into your point-of-sale system, adding gift card purchase and redemption functionality to your website and/or mobile app (if applicable), creating a marketing campaign for your new gift card program, and finally starting to sell and track usage of your company’s gift cards.
Stay tuned for our next blog post in this series, which will cover ordering physical gift cards for your business!
Step 1 Research Gift Card Laws
Researching applicable gift card laws for your state is the very first step to setting up your business’s gift card program. Depending on the state you live in, there may be certain regulations regarding gift cards that you need to consider when setting up your program. Make sure you are aware of any applicable laws and regulations in order to ensure compliance and avoid legal penalties that could hurt your pockets later on.
Step 2 Determine Your Gift Card Policy
After you have researched the applicable laws in your state, decide on a gift card policy for your business. This could include setting up expiration dates, fees, redemption amounts, and/or any other terms and conditions associated with gift cards purchased at your store or website. Once you have determined all of these details, make sure they are clearly listed somewhere that your customers can easily access like your website.
Step 3 Find a Supplier
After all of your gift card policy is tied up and you’ve covered your bases, you need to find a gift card supplier for your new program.
There are many gift card options available, and it’s important to do research on their features, security protocols, and customer service before making a decision. Consider factors such as pricing structure, compatibility with your point-of-sale system, preferred design, and customer service before making a final decision.
If you have decided on a physical gift card program, you will also need to determine how many paper or plastic gift cards you will be buying in bulk from your third-party vendor. Ensure that you budget out these costs and develop an operational plan for re-ordering physical cards.
If you plan to offer a digital gift card program, you will need a digital partner to either build an app for you, add an electronic gift card functionality feature to the app you already have, or provide a space on their third-party app for your customers to use and purchase digital cards.
Step 4 Integrate Gift Card Functionality into Your POS System
Integrating the gift card system into your POS system is an important step in setting up your program. This will allow customers to purchase gift cards with their credit/debit card, as well as redeem gift cards for purchases at physical locations. Integrating a gift card system into your payment processor can help streamline the process, allowing customers to quickly and easily buy and redeem gift cards.
If you don’t have the technical know-how to do this yourself, it is recommended that you hire a professional. You may need a software or hardware provider to help you with this step in order to ensure that everything is properly secured and works as expected.
Step 5 Add Gift Card Purchase and Redemption Functionality to Your Website or Mobile App (If Applicable)
If you are planning to offer gift cards for online purchases and transactions, then you will need to add some additional functionality such as the ability to purchase and redeem gift cards on your website, online shop, or mobile app. Again, if you don’t have the technical know-how to do this yourself, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional in gift card technology to work out online gift card processing and functionality.
Step 6 Create a Marketing Campaign for Your New Gift Card Program
Once you have set up the gift card system for your small business, it’s time to start marketing your new program. Develop a comprehensive online marketing plan and create content that will draw customers in and encourage them to purchase gift cards for themselves and for others.
The holidays are a great time to run a gift card marketing campaign as people are usually looking to purchase gifts for their loved ones. You can also run seasonal campaigns throughout the year to keep your gift card program top-of-mind with customers. Utilizing social media, email marketing, and other channels can help you reach a larger audience and spread awareness about your gift cards.
Step 7 Start Selling and Tracking Usage of Your Company’s Gift Cards
Now that you have found a supplier, researched applicable laws and regulations, built the gift card functionality into your POS system, and created a marketing campaign for your program, it’s time to start selling and tracking the usage of your company’s gift cards. Make sure you are monitoring usage and gift card sales so that you can adjust any necessary parameters as needed.
In conclusion, setting up a gift card program can be a great way to increase revenue and customer loyalty for your small business. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your gift card program is set up correctly and runs smoothly.
If you are looking for a customized digital gift card solution, DigitalGift is your answer. We will get you started with a customized digital gift card for your business that will display on our app along side national brands. Your gift cards will be available for customers to purchase in our Buy Local Merchant DigitalGift card section on our app, so you can focus on running your business. We also make it easy for frequent gift card buyers to purchase digital gifts while promoting your business to potential gift card buyers on the app.
Use our Merchant Sign-Up Form to get started today!
Check out our blog and sign up for our newsletter for more gift card program tips. Keep an eye out for our next blog post in this series, which will cover ordering physical gift cards for your business!