If you feel like everyone you see these days is holding a smartphone; don’t worry, you’re not imagining it. In fact, nearly 75% of all people in the United States own a smartphone. Depending on your age, location, and occupation, the number of people you see holding a smartphone as you go through your regular day-to-day routine could be over 90%. These powerful, palm-sized devices are quickly becoming a standard item that almost everyone owns. So, it’s no surprise that the gift card industry has been striving to keep up with our changing habits. The smartphone has already begun its quest to replace the wallet and gift cards are following the trend.
With the rapid evolution of smartphones, gift cards have had to find innovative ways to stay relevant. Modern technology and marketing strategies have paved the way for gift card lovers and tech savvy smartphone users to combine everything into one convenient package.
The App Revolution
Apps are the real reason we love our smartphones. Sure, a sleek new device with the latest processor, brighter screen, and high-end features is cool; but the apps are the real reason you keep your smartphone within arm’s reach. Some savvy developers have been able to create apps that connect your gift card collection to your smartphone. Gyft, available on iPhone and Android, is one of the most popular solutions. Users can load their gift cards into the app for use whenever they’re out shopping. This has made shopping easier and friendlier. No more carrying around several gift cards and rummaging to find the right one at the till. No more forgetting the gift card on the counter at home when you’re going out shopping. Plus, the app makes storing digital gift cards, which are growing more popular every single year, a breeze!
A wide range of apps are available or in development that allow gift card users to better store and keep track of their balances. It makes sense that tech savvy smartphone users would be attracted to apps like this. Gift cards are one of the most convenient ways of paying for products both in-person and online. Smartphones are tools to make our lives more convenient. It’s a match made in heaven!
Building Brand Loyalty
Marketers are paid to follow the latest trends. Two trends that no one can ignore is the rapid growth of smartphone adoption and the rapid growth of the gift card industry, expected to exceed $120 billion in 2017. Almost every single major brand maintains an online presence through social media. Customers can engage with these brands in real-time through their smartphones. Marketers also know that gift cards are a fantastic way of driving brand loyalty. Most people don’t spend their entire gift card balance in a single visit. That means that a single gift card can lead to two or more visits from a customer. Combine the power of the smartphone and the gift card… Listen closely and you can hear marketing strategist’s hearts begin to flutter.
Many of the top brands now offer their own apps that customers can download onto their smartphones. This allows companies to push updates and incentives straight to their customer’s devices. These could include exclusive sales, coupons, or special rewards. Gift cards are among the best incentives of all. Many brands will offer digital gift cards in return for completing tasks which could be as simple as downloading the app, creating an account, or checking in at a retail location. Deal-loving gift card fans can earn credit to spend simply by using their smartphone. Some companies will offer incentives for customers that register a gift card through the app which could include exclusive product discounts, bonus gift card credit, or freebies that the customer can redeem. The possibilities for linking gift cards and smartphones are virtually endless and consumers love that their gift cards and their smartphone can work together to get them deals, offers, and more.
Reload Leads to Re-visit
We know that gift cards can help to build brand loyalty. Reloadable gift cards are like turbocharged brand loyalty machines, racing along the track at 200mph. Starbucks is one of the best examples of a company that takes reloadable gift cards, smartphones, and the convenience of paying with a gift card credit to create something their fans love. Users can register their gift card through the app to begin earning points. Once the balance is used, the customer can reload it directly through the app to continue earning points. If you have ever bought a gift for a Starbucks fan you may have heard them request a gift card for their favorite coffee shop. This isn’t simply because they love Starbucks. They can take gift cards given to them by friends or family and then transfer that balance to the card that has been registered through the app and continue earning even more loyalty points. Reaching gold status on the Starbucks app is a rite of passage for any dedicated Starbucks loyalist. The coffee chain has perfectly combined the convenience of gift cards with a gamification aspect that people love about apps.
Starbucks, and many other brands, have discovered that a fun app combined with the ease of using gift cards is a recipe for success. These companies that sell gift cards know that their customers will ask their friends, family, and co-workers for gift cards to load onto the app in order to continue building points, loyalty status, or whatever other game-style element has been infused into the experience. More people buying gift cards equals more visits which equals greater brand loyalty which equals money, money, money. At the end of the day both the customer and the company is happy.
We Crave Instant Gratification
If we jump back to the Starbucks example of perfectly combining the app and the convenience of gift cards – we have actually only discussed half of the equation. It’s no secret that humans love instant gratification. We want our Netflix movies to load instantly, we want our food to be make quickly, and we want our girlfriend or boyfriend to text back right away. Combine the convenience of using gift cards with the convenience of an app and then add in the ability to earn and spend rewards instantly… Now that’s a real recipe for success. Starbucks allows their users to spend gift card credit and earn loyalty points, or stars, as they are displayed in the app. Once a user has earned a certain amount of points they receive a free beverage that can be easily redeemed during their next visit. It’s the modern twist on the “buy x, get 1 free” punch card. In addition, customers get a free beverage on their birthday. A company that gives you a birthday gift just for loading your gift card into their app? How awesome is that?! Also, what do you think these Starbucks fans are asking for when someone asks them what they want for a gift? More gift card credit to continue earning more rewards from the cool company that remembered their birthday.
On top of making spending gift cards exciting, brands also make it easy, convenient, and instant when customers want to spend their credit. Many restaurant and fast food apps allows their customers to order through the app and spend gift card credit so that their order is waiting for them when they arrive. No need to stand in line, search through a menu, wait for service, or even fumble around with a wallet. Simply order, pay, then pick up with nothing more than a few clicks in an app. It’s no wonder smartphones are helping companies sell gift cards.
There Are Gift Cards for Our Phones
We know that people love using apps. New, trendy apps are released every single day. Some of those are free, some cost money. Just like anything that costs money, apps can be bought with a gift card. Google Play and Apple App Store gift cards are among the top selling gift cards. Smartphone manufacturers and app creators both love gift cards as they help lower the barrier for customers to purchase. With so many free apps available, it can be hard for some smartphone users to justify spending even just $1 on an app. However, if they have a gift card credit sitting in their account, suddenly spending $1 on an app is no obstacle at all because the credit is sitting there just waiting to be spent. It’s the same philosophy used by many apps with their in-game currency. Some of the most popular apps like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush offer gift cards that people can buy for players of the game. Spending in-game currency in the form of a gift card to earn additional turns, skins, or weapons is much easier for people to justify than spending actual, real world currency.
Plus, in all the discussion about what you can do with your phone, we may have overlooked the fact many people want a smartphone. As any visit to a retail store will show you; smartphones are not cheap. Yet, they are often one of the most common items to find on someone’s gift wish list. A gift card to use toward the purchase of a new smartphone is the perfect gift for anyone who likes to own the latest and greatest technology. Electronics retailers, online retailers, and cell phone service carriers all sell gift cards that are in high demand no matter what the season or occasion.
Gift Cards Aren’t Going Anywhere
Many people assumed the rise of smartphones and digital shopping would spell the end of gift cards. However, the gift card industry has stayed up to date and even become stronger with as technology rapidly begins to offer us more options and convenience. Major brands like Starbucks have made smartphone apps and gift cards a central piece of their marketing plans.
As the phone has evolved from a rotary dialer at home to the smartphones we know today, gift cards have evolved as well. Digital gift cards are the fastest growing segment in the gift card industry and are in high demand. Smartphone users love digital gift cards because they can simply load the credit into their phone, and spend it as they wish. You don’t need a plastic card in your wallet to appreciate the convenience of a gift card these days – you just need a smartphone!
Plus, smartphones have opened up an entirely new market for gift cards. In addition to wanting gift cards for their favorite restaurants and retailers, consumers now also want gift cards that they can use to enhance their smartphone experience. Gift cards to spend on apps as well as in-game currency are among some of the most in-demand cards right now.
So, how can you use the smartphone revolution to make some extra cash? Simply sell gift cards to EJ Gift Cards! We allow you to turn your unused gift cards in cash that you can use on anything. Best of all, the money is deposited directly into your PayPal account.
We accept gift cards from hundreds of retailers, restaurants, and e-commerce stores including many that have been mentioned in this blog. If you have a gift card lying around, it could be worth cash in your pocket. There’s no obligation or fee to find out how much your unused gift cards are worth.
All you have to do is log in to EJ Gift Cards, enter your information, and then see the offer for your gift cards. Again, there is no obligation to accept. You can take the money or hold onto your gift cards – the choice is totally yours.
If you or someone you know wants to sell gift cards and make some money – EJ Gift Cards is ready to buy! Browse the hundreds of gift cards accepted, enter the info, and get paid directly into your PayPal account. It’s that simple!