(NAPSI)—If you own or run any of America’s nearly 31 million small businesses, recent research reveals gift cards can be a real gift to your bottom line. According to a 2019 Small Business Gift Card Study commissioned by First Data, now Fiserv, gift card programs help small business owners bring in more sales, attract new customers, and build relationships with their customers.
Small Businesses, Big Benefits
Not only do gift cards benefit a business, consumers expect them to be available at their favorite stores. In fact, 74 percent of consumers surveyed said they regularly buy gift cards from small businesses. And for business owners, offering gift cards can:
• Grow sales—Nearly 80 percent of consumers said if they have a gift card valued at 88 cents, they will visit the store to redeem it
• Attract customers—90 percent of consumers who receive a gift card from a small business they have never visited said they would shop at that business and return in the future
• Build loyalty—56 percent of consumers who shop at small businesses join their loyalty or frequent shopper programs. Of consumers that join loyalty programs at small businesses, 73 percent said gift cards are a preferred way for their loyalty to be rewarded.
Restaurants, Coffee Shops, and Salons
When asked about the ideal gift card to give someone, or receive and use themselves, consumers agreed on their top three: casual dining restaurants; coffee shops; personal services (i.e., hair or nail salon).
Other popular businesses from which to give or receive gift cards included supermarket/grocery stores, entertainment/movie theaters, and quick-serve restaurants.
Gift cards are often a popular choice for employers who use them to say thank you or reward a job well done. For 90 percent of consumers, they’ve not only received a gift card from their employer, but view it as an incentive to reward their hard work.
• When purchasing gift cards, 60 percent of consumers prefer plastic cards or paper certificates, but interest in digital gift cards is growing.
• 58 percent of small business owners said plastic gift cards cost the business owner less to manage than paper certificates. Learn more about gift cards at www.firstdata.com/giftcards.