Volume 2 Issue 5 Information to help you run your business
MERCHANT SUCCESS STORY:
and Gourmet Shop
Looking for a way to improve its accounting of gift
certificates, Carmine’s Restaurant and Gourmet
Shop turned to the NOVA Network for an electronic
gift card program that met its needs, and more.
Carmine’s Gourmet Restaurant and Market operates
two restaurants, a gourmet store and a pet store in
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. In late 2002,
Carmine’s decided the time had come to scrap its
long standing paper-based gift certificates in favor of
an electronic gift card program. Carmine’s turned to
the NOVA Network.
Challenges with Paper Certificates:
Carmine’s management team needed a more efficient method of issuing and
tracking gift certificates. Typically, the sale of each certificate was recorded by
hand in a ledger. A corresponding entry was made when a certificate was
redeemed. “Every time a paper certificate goes out the door, it is hard to track,”
says Scot Sabatino, director of IT operations for Carmine’s. “Plus, if the full value
of the certificate was not used with the first purchase, we had to issue the
change on another certificate or give the customer cash.” That meant that a
$100 gift certificate sale might have resulted in an actual sale of only $25.
NEXT MONTH IN CONNECTIONS:
> Best practices for mail order and
> Merchant reporting tools
Overall, the estimated dollar volume on gift cards sold in 2003 totaled $45 billion,
Carmine’s Success Story continued from cover
up 50% from 2002, according to TowerGroup, a Needham, Massachusetts-based
Solution: research firm. By 2007, the dollar volume of gift cards sold is expected to hit more
The NOVA Network’s solution provided Carmine’s with an easy and complete than $90 billion.
method to sell and track electronic gift cards. Gift card transactions run on
Carmine’s existing payment terminal; no additional equipment was needed. The
Don’t be Caught cards carry no value until activated and loaded, so they can be merchandised
openly without the threat of shrinkage. And since redemptions are
Overall, gift cards have been a hit with Carmine’s customers and its staff. In fact,
Carmine’s is planning to add an electronic gift program at a fifth location, which
in the Cold this automatically deducted from the balance, the cards are used until all funds are
spent, retaining the full value of the original purchase.
is expected to open later this year. With the holiday season fast approaching,
Carmine’s is anticipating strong sales of its gifts cards. Given the success Carmine’s
has enjoyed with gift cards, it is no wonder that restaurants, retailers, salons,
Research shows that
gift card holders typically
Holiday Season Further, the tracking and reporting capabilities provided by the NOVA Network
allow Carmine’s to determine at which location a card was sold, the value of
theaters and video stores are offering their own programs, and why gift cards
have become the fastest growing segment of the card-based payments business.
spend 20% above the face
the original card, how much has been redeemed, and at which locations the value of the card
Gift Cards HEAT UP Holiday Sales! cards are being redeemed. The NOVA Network’s electronic gift card program is another strong example of our
unwavering commitment to providing value-added services that help you grow
The mercury is rising, and so is the opportunity for Better Control and Greater Efficiencies: your business.
holiday gift card sales. Merchants everywhere have If fraudulent use of a card is suspected, the account number can be fed into the
learned the value of electronic gift cards – they For more information about establishing a successful gift card
NOVA Network’s system, which flags the card and halts redemption. “I know
become a “portable billboard” for your business, program like Carmine’s, give us a call at 1-800-725-1243.
where and when the card was loaded with value and can cut it off if need be,”
and they keep customers coming back. says Sabatino. “With a paper certificate, it wasn’t too hard for an employee to
> Gain new customers by selling gift cards to loyal slip one out of the box and use it. With gift cards, the control is much better.”
customers who give them as presents. An extra benefit of selecting the NOVA Network, is that NOVA makes it possible
Connect with NOVA today.
> Earn interest and float revenue from the time the for cards issued at Carmine’s Positively Perfect pet store to be redeemed at the NOVA is pleased to offer you a
cards are sold until the time they are redeemed. gourmet shop or one of the restaurants. This helps cross-promote its businesses. dedicated Customer Satisfaction Team
> Unlike paper gift certificates, there’s no cash back
for partially used cards; you retain the full value of
“Linking the cards for use at each store was a big winner for us,” concedes
Sabatino. Get Started TODAY! to answer any questions about what
the NOVA Network can do for you or
to help you resolve any issues you’re
the card – and that balance brings return visits to A Big Return on Investment: Provide us with your name, phone number and experiencing with your payment
your store. Merchants benefit financially from gift card sales as well. Research shows that the merchant identification number which is processing services.
gift card holders typically spend 20% above the face value of the card, on
> Merchandise returns handled with gift cards
average, according to Frequency Marketing, Inc, a Milford, Ohio-
found at the top of your merchant statement. WEB ACCESS: Visit us on the web at
instead of cash ensure that the money will be
based consulting firm. www.merchantconnect.com to get
spent in your store.
direct access to all the information you
> Electronic gift cards reduce the time, labor and need. You can check recent deposits,
fraud associated with paper certificates. chargebacks, transaction activity and
more right from your desktop.
DESIGN YOUR OWN CUSTOMIZED GIFT PHONE SUPPORT: Call your dedicated
CARD – OR WE’LL DO IT FOR YOU Electronic gift cards reduce the
Customer Satisfaction Team at
At the NOVA Network, we’re constantly looking for time, labor and fraud associated 1-800-725-1243. Enter the Merchant
ways to help you add value to your business. That’s Number found on your statement and
why we’re pleased to offer you a special, customized with paper certificates. you’ll receive priority service.
Electronic Gift Card program – one so easy you can
take advantage of it this holiday selling season!
> One service provider for your credit card and gift
card processing. No need to manage multiple
> Design the card, define program parameters, and
have reloadable cards. Flexible to meet your
Connections is prepared by NOVA Information Systems, Inc. as a service for its
merchants. The information discussed is general in nature and may not apply to
your specific situation. Please contact us for additional information.