Using Plastic Gift Cards for Better Business
Gift cards have always been effective marketing tools especially in the restaurant business. By selling gift cards, you’re not only giving something that can be used as a present but you’re restaurant is assured of making a profit every time the card is used at your establishment.Initially, merchants and retailers offered gift certificates to customers and potential clients. Profits were earned whenever these certificates were redeemed or lost. However, one drawback of paper gift certificates is the length of time it takes for issuing, tracking and redeeming them. Only a selected few had access to the certificates such as the manager or business owner so whenever one was sold, it would take time to issue a certificate.
The number codes on gift certificates were used to track the amount of certificates sold and the transactions that were made in the restaurant without the use of cash. Unfortunately, gift certificates were usually stolen to make counterfeit versions and their redemption meant the loss of profit. This led most restaurants to eventually choose plastic gift cards rather than the traditional paper gift certificates. One of the biggest advantages that plastic gift cards have over paper gift certificates is the capability to save information in a database. The magnetic stripe on each plastic card allows it to be linked to the database. This means the balances and transactions are conveniently stored and retrieved. And unlike the paper gift certificates which are disposable, plastic cards are reusable. The magnetic stripes allow the cards to be reloaded if the amount on them runs out.
The best part about the plastic gift cards is you can print your company name and logo on the card to market your brand. Theses cards serve as your handy advertisements to customers whenever they are used. To make them even more appealing, you can present your gift cards in gift packages. You may even try to work with affiliate companies or even non-profit organizations to help promote your business by asking them to put your gift cards on display. Plastic gift cards hold no value until a customer purchases them. This means, even if a gift card is stolen and faked, it may not be used for redemption at the restaurant. And since plastic cards are reusable, your customers can keep adding to the balance and they become your restaurant’s personal debit cards.
Keeping Track of Gift Cards
As several merchants and retailers have employed plastic cards with magnetic cards, many point-of-sale (POS) products manufactured are capable of tracking both paper gift certificates and plastic cards. This gives you the chance to maximize your marketing ability since you can go with either option.The POS products used by single store operators usually maintain the records of their balances in-house. The balances on the plastic gift cards are only adjusted after each transaction made on the card. This type of data storage also eliminates the need to charge for transaction fees.
On the other hand, it is common for multiple store operators to record their plastic gift card balances in one main database. With the help of a good internet connection, all other branches of that brand can then access this database to check information or update the balance on a card. For this type of data storage, some systems do require transaction fees.
What are the Benefits of Plastic Gift Cards for the Restaurants?
Customers are not the only ones who get to enjoy the benefits of having gift cards. They are able to maximize their gift cards through the discounts for certain items on the menu. The restaurants themselves gain a lot of profits once they introduce gift cards to their customers. Offering gift cards to customer will lead to increased repeat customers who want to earn points through the rewards card. Eventually, this will improve your relationship with your customers and establish loyalty. Your restaurant will then have multiple sales which translate to better revenue.
Even if your customers do decide to stop using the plastic gift cards, you will still gain profit. Most customers abandon their cards when the balance becomes too low. If you consider the large number of cards that are left behind by customers with left over balance in them, their total would sum up to a large amount of money. For larger companies, these give them millions of dollars in return. Start-up restaurants can also capitalize on the benefits of plastic gift cards. To attract customers, cards containing small balances may be distributed to people to encourage them to come to your restaurant. If you distribute reusable gift cards, there’s a higher possibility of repeated sales when guests add more balance to their cards. You may shell out more money but in the end, it’s a great marketing strategy.
For more information on gift cards - see our infographic on gift cards CardPrinting.us offers a wide range of high quality plastic cards, perfect as customized rewards cards, key tags, hanging tags, loyalty cards or ID cards! Click here to order specialty CardPrinting.us plastic products.
Laura Brentley is an avid guest blogger who is also a manager at Cardprinting.us. Get “Design Inspiration From Music Album Covers” from her latest article which can be seen on ABloggingSpot.com.
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