The emergence of big spenders since 2020 

Article by Jigsaw Business Solutions

In only two years, we have experienced so much change and with it we are seeing the emergence of big spenders in the B2B gift card sector across employee benefits, reward and recognition, customer loyalty and crypto markets.

As people try to spend less or save more, they are rediscovering company perks such as saving money with discounted gift cards via an Employee Benefit (EB) or Reward & Recognition (R&R) platform. To keep users engaged and active, EB and R&R providers have gamified their platforms and introduced points-based loyalty to drive more spend to the retail market. Since retaining and attracting talent is paramount during this persisting period coined “the great resignation,” employers need to connect with and reward their people, particularly those working remotely. Buying retail gift cards, at a discounted price is an easy and cost-effective way of showing appreciation with a personal touch. 

We saw an increase of 108% in bulk orders during Christmas 2020 compared with the year before from organisations that wanted to thank their teams after a long period of remote working. Having enjoyed the ease of bulk purchasing and the savings available, the majority of these customers returned in 2021. Orders from the medical sector grew particularly for small treats and gifts of up to £5/€5/$5. We saw demand increase so much so that we have developed our proprietary system, Jigsaw360, to allow partners to self-serve and purchase at any time.

An interesting new channel for gift cards that has grown over the last two years is cryptocurrency. While some retailers are still hesitant to enter the crypto space with their gift cards, those that have are reaping the rewards. We saw the emergence of several new crypto partners in 2020 alone and some of them have become our biggest sales partners, particularly in the USA. It is a bumpy ride for crypto investors right now, but with more traditional markets suffering alongside we still feel confident that the future is bright for alternative, digital money markets.

With existing sales channels growing and new ones emerging, the B2B gift card market is not going anywhere. We found that our online-only retailers were a particularly popular choice for employee and customer rewards as good digital experiences become more important for consumers of all ages. Despite struggling during the pandemic, travel and experience brands still found new ways to innovate and drive revenue using digital gift cards, particularly with creative marketing for planning ahead. If you can’t already tell, we love how gift cards help solve so many different challenges and remain very optimistic about the future of the B2B gift card market, as well as B2C and third-party!
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