CHIPOTLE GIFT CARD Works Only Under These Conditions

Gift cards continue steadily to grow leaps and bounds allowing retailers which have implemented a program for his or her stores to reap vast benefits. Actually, total shelling out for gift cards in 2012 nearly reached $30 billion with around two-thirds of all American consumers Chipotle Gift Card Balance having purchased at least one gift card.

It is mainstream and it’s not for the holiday season anymore. While nearly 2/3rds of all consumers have purchased gift cards for someone round the holidays, over 80% of most consumers have purchased something special card as a birthday gift. No longer should retailers simply rely on the holidays for their sales – though sales at the moment are concentrated – the sales can be found throughout the year.

Gift cards are convenient, secure, and become a branded “billboard in a wallet”. In multi-unit shops, they keep carefully the money within the store network sufficient reason for gift cards, retailers will gain more name recognition and exposure in the marketplace, further widening its existing customer base. To further the case, it’s not simply for the brand awareness, it increases the top line because the average gift card user ends up spending a supplementary 20% beyond the value of the card.

Why Gift Cards? Some retailers may still use punch cards or paper certificates even though these programs could have advanced their loyalty program to date, plastic gift cards outsells paper certificates from 2 to 10 times as much. The electronic concept has become the medium of choice for retailers and merchants in the united states. On the list of significant reasons are:

No Cash Back – the value remaining after partial redemption stays on the card ensuring additional opportunities to solidify the guest relationship.
REAL-TIME Processing – virtually eliminates both losses associated with paper gift certificates and costly tracking and accounting.
Offering a gift card is quite similar to offering a new product item – and never have to learn complicated handling procedures, training procedures, and tie up valuable storage space. It will help gain new customers – friends or associates of your existing customers – and the card program ought to be viewed as a revenue generator.

Logistics: A processing terminal is required to run the gift card program. Usually your credit card company can help you choose a terminal that will fit the bill and budget. Most gift cards work with a host-based computer system to store the value of the cards as they are sold and redeemed. Simply load and redeem the cards via a charge card terminal that accesses the host computer. This host-based system enables the gift card to be sold and redeemed at all participating locations (if applicable for multi-unit operations). Here’s generally how it works:

Activation
Consumer purchases the gift card for any amount using cash or credit card – the clerk executes the sale via normal payment procedures on the register
Amount of the “gift value” is loaded and stored on the host database by swiping a magnetic strip card by way of a credit card terminal
Customer receipt shows balance on card – updated in real time
The card could be reloaded and may be used multiple times

Redemption
Swiped through credit card terminal for host authorization
No cash back – customer receipt shows real-time card balance
Pooling: For multi-unit operations, as your cards are redeemed within other participating stores along with other stores’ cards are redeemed within your store, the redemption amount is transferred at a specified time electronically. This is called pooling. All transactions are accounted for electronically in the database and activity reports. All pooling activity is documented, itemized by card having an overall summary and redemption amounts are transferred between locations via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network from each location. The ACH network is the same system banks use to go money as regulated by the Federal Reserve. All activity is recorded electronically on the terminal and host computer as time passes and date stamp for audit purposes. A terminal gift card batch report itemizes transactions for reconciliation.
Marketing & Merchandising: With suggestive selling and merchandising, the gift card will generate additional revenue. The demand is strong year-round, especially at the different holiday times over summer and winter. Birthdays are the hottest reason to buy something special card – each day is someone’s birthday! Similar to activation, the cardholder can purchase extra value or “reload” the card for just about any amount at any participating location. This is ideal for regular guests. The gift card can also be used internally for credits. For example, in lieu of cash back on a purchase return or perhaps a customer complaint, you can issue a card for the value of the credit. This keeps the purchase money in the retailers network.

Loyalty Programs: A loyalty card program uses exactly the same host-based computer system to store the worthiness of the loyalty cards as the gift card. It is possible to load and redeem the cards via a credit card terminal just like the gift card with the only real difference being that you could only add/redeem points to a loyalty card, not dollars. Similar to the gift card, the loyalty card earns points and is redeemable at all participating locations. A typical loyalty program works something like this:

Enrollment – Consumer enrolls by completing a loyalty application.
Staff reviews for eligibility and ensures the loyalty card number is recorded on the application.
Consumers will earn X point per $ spent when they initially enroll and ongoing.

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