; Gift vouchers stay relevant
Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out
Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

Gift vouchers stay relevant


Gift vouchers stay relevant

More Info
  • pg 1
									                                                                                 P&I Essays Promotion
Martin Cooper l Sales and marketing manager l Love2reward

Gift vouchers stay relevant
The gift voucher market has evolved dramatically over the past 25 years, and although the
humble paper variant is as popular as ever, responding to technological trends is vital
When you are running a business                                                      staff start collecting, the choice is
based on serving the needs of a vast                                                 simple; they can either spend now or
range of clients, flexibility and the                                                save for something bigger later. We
ability to handle change are vital.                                                  back this up with emails and commu-
   Much of our reputation is built                                                   nications on how to earn points and
around Love2shop – The High Street                                                   what they can spend them on if they
Gift Voucher, which is the number                                                    accrue more points. It’s a win-win for
one multi-retailer gift option in the                                                all – the points mechanic encourages
UK. It launched into the corporate                                                   the participant to remain loyal to the
market 25 years ago with an ‘impres-                                                 scheme, the sponsor doesn’t have to
sive’ total of five retailers. In 2008,                                              invest in a bespoke platform, and ul-
the choice has grown just a little,                                                  timately we see more vouchers going
to now include more than 80 high-                                                    into the market.
street names. Turnover of the B2B                                                       Another element raising the inter-
division exceeds £90m through the                                                    est of our customers is voluntary
despatch of 1,000 orders a day to                                                    benefit schemes – it has proved to be
more than 4,000 clients.                                                             an extremely successful initiative.
   While Love2shop has been the                                                      Often clients use our vouchers as
backbone of our business, we need                                                    part of an incentive scheme and then
to stay ahead of the game, so we’ve                                                  realise staff would also like access to
developed a series of alternatives for                                               those vouchers. If that company has
our clients. There is no one-size-fits-                                              reasonable numbers of staff, then it
all solution when it comes to incen-                                                 is a good market for us to be in. We
tivising staff, and we need to be                                                    can sell the vouchers online at a dis-
aware that clients have very different                                               count to staff, even though it is not
requirements, even if the goals are                                                  part of an incentive scheme, with
generally similar.                                                                   minimal cost to the provider.
   That’s why we’ve spent the past                                                      Beyond this, the growth of gift
few years working on other elements                                                  cards continues, and there are a
of the business, like Love2travel                                                    number of benefits to clients using
and Love2play, which focus on the                                                    gift cards, particularly for individual
incentive travel and experiential         continually motivate and retain staff.     fulfilments. For example, a gift card
marketplaces respectively. Love-          Retention is also the key for external     can be activated only by the intended
2shop vouchers may be popular with        sales incentives; it’s all very well fo-   recipient, meaning it can be des-
the majority of employees, but we         cusing on an individual’s reward, but      patched via first-class post. A paper
have to be ready to cater for those       the real challenge is to build longev-     voucher often has to be sent by
who don’t want to shop on the high        ity into the scheme as a whole.            secure means, which costs more as
street. With this in mind, our next          Too often reward schemes have a         the customer needs to cover the out-
development will be an electronic         short shelf-life, possibly because         lay of insuring the delivery.
voucher that is responding to de-         sales staff are now so savvy that they        However, despite all these techni-
mand from sectors such as IT, which       flit between competing campaigns,          cal advances, the paper vouchers
expects any scheme including the          which often negates the commercial         we first started producing 25 years
reward delivery mechanic to be            objectives.                                ago remain extremely popular. Yes,
conducted online. This just proves           One solution to this has been the       paper vouchers might lack the flexi-
that there are plenty of opportunities    creation of online points banking          bility of an electronic voucher or a
to develop the gift voucher market,       systems, such as our ‘Virtual Incen-       gift card, but they still have one fun-
and our own initiatives are going         tive Points’ platform. Under the           damental advantage, and that is they
from strength to strength.                scheme, an account is set up for each      are perceived to be as tangible and
   Economically these are difficult       participant into which points are          easy to use as cash. And from the
times and an effective incentive          stored. These can then be converted        receiver’s point of view, that, as an
scheme is essential if you want to        into vouchers or merchandise. Once         incentive, is hard to beat.

www.pandionline.com                                                                 january 2009 promotions & incentives 11

To top