Beyond Gift Cards

How to enhance your program and rev up holiday sales

PRINCETON, N.J. -- As merchants across the country prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season, Heartland Payment Systems, one of the nation’s largest payments processors and provider of gift and loyalty card solutions, offers tips for retailers to boost revenue during the season and beyond.

Heartland advises merchants to rethink their current gift-card programs and adopt a gift marketing strategy as part of their overall advertising program. By doing so, merchants transform one-dimensional gift cards into promotional and loyalty cards integrated with innovative rewards programs that attract new customers, keep existing customers coming back and result in word-of-mouth advertising that grows their business.

“By leveraging unique loyalty and promotional tools, businesses can generate significantly increased revenue during the holiday shopping season, as well as long after the holiday gift giving and buying euphoria wears off,” said Jeff Lipp, Heartland’s executive director, gift and loyalty.

Merchants can grow their customer base and increase sales by taking simple steps, such as working with other local businesses and leveraging their employees, to attract consumers using their gift and loyalty programs.

Promote Your Business:

  • Attract new customers by pre-loading cards and partnering with neighboring, non-competing businesses to distribute your cards to their best customers. Plus, you can surprise and delight your existing customers by handing out cards from the other local partnering businesses.
  • Make your promotions visible by having employees wear promotional buttons and by posting prominent signage in and around your store or restaurant.
  • Train employees to remind shoppers that gift cards are perfect for teachers, mail carriers, hair stylists and others they would like to thank during the holiday season.

Reward Your Customers:

  • Encourage customers to spend more and return more frequently by setting a visit-based reward that specifies the number of visits and minimum purchase amount to receive the reward back on the card.
  • Offer top-up rewards that encourage gift card purchasers to load more money onto their cards to receive the extra reward.

Princeton, N.J.-based Heartland Payment Systems Inc., the fifth-largest payments processor in the United States, delivers credit/debit/prepaid card processing, gift marketing and loyalty programs, payroll, check management and related business solutions to more than 250,000 business locations nationwide.