The market is switching from physical to digital gift cards and there are several key factors why. 

To start, one of the biggest shifts in consumer behavior is the rise of online shopping and mobile applications — digital gift cards offer the best convenience and flexibility to both buyers and recipients vs. physical cards.

Like many companies, if yours has been relying on outdated systems to incentivize employees and customers for years, it may be time for a change. Whether it's customers collecting loyalty points or you simply selecting an Employee of the Month with a physical gift card from a drawer or store, there's a more efficient and cost-effective solution - digital gift cards.

An increasing number of companies are now embracing digital gift card software, which not only saves time and money but also allows for more personalized rewards. Additionally, digital gift cards provide businesses with more control over how rewards are allocated and how funds are tracked too. This modern alternative offers recipients a simplified and contemporary experience that enhances satisfaction. With these advantages in mind, it is important for businesses to explore the various options available in the market.

Moving forward, we dive into the key features and benefits of digital gift cards and the software, to help understand why now might be the time to change and expand your rewards and incentive programs.

Benefits of digital gift cards

Digital gift cards offer several benefits for your rewards program and your company as a whole. The most significant include: 

When employees are aware that they're competing for a digital gift card to their favorite brand, a reward they will instantly receive upon successfully completing the rewards program, they become more motivated to strive towards the goals you've set for them.

By incorporating digital gift cards into your rewards program, you not only provide a tangible and desirable incentive but also have the opportunity to boost productivity and enhance employee morale.

This small change can make a significant impact on the overall performance and satisfaction of your team.

Digital gift cards are also excellent rewards to use for customer acquisition and loyalty strategies. If you're looking for a new way to incentivize sales, consider offering digital rewards when customers complete certain actions, such as:

  • Referring their friends
  • Entering giveaways on your social media pages
  • Scheduling a service with your company

With digital rewards, you won't have to worry about mailing a physical gift card to the recipient and hoping it arrives swiftly. You can simply send them a link to redeem the gift card for a store or restaurant of their choosing. 

Digital rewards have a gamification element that you may not see with physical rewards. Gamification is taking something that isn't a game — like boosting sales or productivity — and turning it into a game to increase engagement. 

Creating a sense of competition and delivering prizes instantly can encourage your employees and customers to achieve the goals you've set for them. With digital gift card integration, you can send redemption codes to employees as soon as they meet their sales goals or complete other actions.

They'll feel like they're participating in a fun competition instead of just performing their work duties. 

Top reasons to switch to digital rewards

If your company still uses physical gift cards to incentivize employees and customers, you're missing out on a significant opportunity to streamline and enhance your rewards. Here are the top reasons to switch from physical to digital rewards.

1. Digital rewards let you track acceptance and funds

Monitoring the number of employees or customers who claim their gift cards can help you tailor your reward program accordingly. With physical gift cards, you can only send the card to the recipient and hope for the best. But with digital rewards, you can track how many recipients actually claim the reward through an online tool, easily viewing data about your rewards program. 

You'll also be able to fix any delivery errors and resend rewards with one click (can’t do that with the postal system!). This feature can ensure that recipients actually receive the rewards you promised them, protecting your company’s brand. 

2. Digital incentives are easier to deliver to out-of-office staff

Virtual delivery makes rewarding out-of-office staff a breeze. Whether you want to send a gift card to someone working from home or to an employee in another part of the country, you can instantly deliver a digital gift card through any method of your choosing. Send the Giftbit link through email, text message, social media, or other platforms, and allow these far-away recipients to receive their gifts instantly. 

With virtual delivery, you'll also save money on shipping costs. Sending gift cards links to recipients is completely free. 

3. Digital rewards offer instant gratification

The amount of time it takes you to reward an employee or customer for completing an action can impact their future behavior. When you instantly deliver a reward, the recipient will experience instant gratification rather than delayed gratification. Psychologically, this means they'll make a mental connection between their actions and the reward, encouraging them to continue that action in the future. 

In contrast, when recipients need to wait weeks or months to receive a physical gift card, they may forget what action triggered the reward in the first place, which can discourage them from participating in future rewards or incentive programs. 

4. Digital rewards save you time

Delivering rewards to employees or customers is just another task on your never-ending to-do- list. But what if you could automate rewards and never need to waste any more time sending them? 

With digital rewards, you can automatically deliver gift cards to employees and customers when they complete specific actions. You can even integrate your digital gift cards into your company app or platform, automatically triggering gift card links without the need for your intervention or approval. 

5. Digital rewards eliminate plastic waste

Switching to digital gift cards is just one small step your company can take to make a significant difference in your environmental impact. Digital rewards don't involve any plastic waste. Recipients can use them to complete an online purchase through an e-commerce site without ever needing to print or show a physical card. 

6. Digital gift cards allow for more reward choices

Instead of needing to choose the type of gift card you send to recipients (and risking making a choice they won't be happy with), you can give your recipients a choice from a catalog of hundreds of brands to be sure you’re offering at least one that they’ll love. 

This freedom helps you create an even more powerful impact on recipients, as they can select a reward they want and will use.