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Why digital vouchers make great rewards


A reward designed for the instant gratification generation.

For better or worse, technology has made life so easy for us that we’re just not used to waiting for things anymore. Take me, for example. In the past 12 hours, I’ve bought and downloaded a new bestseller onto my tablet and watched (way too many) episodes of a series on Netflix. Most things we want are available instantly and electronically. And that’s why rewards like digital vouchers can be so effective as part of a rewards strategy. They satisfy that need for convenience and immediacy.

They’re also pretty versatile

If you’re looking for ways to engage and reward your customers or surprise and delight your employees, digital vouchers fit the bill. They can be used in competitions, giveaways and promotions, or to launch a new product. They’re also a great way to recognise and reward employees, and to celebrate staff birthdays and anniversaries.

But there’s more to digital vouchers than their flexibility. Here are another six reasons to add them to your rewards mix.

1. The choice is yours

These days, you’re not limited to a few retailers when it comes to choosing your digital vouchers. As payment and point-of-sale technology has developed, the range of retailers able to accept and redeem vouchers in-store has grown and continues to grow. Digital vouchers are now available across retail categories – from fashion, beauty and pharmaceuticals to grocery stores, restaurants and fast food outlets.

This variety means you can be strategic in your choice of vouchers. For example, if you’re giving a recognition award to an employee who’s an avid runner, a sizeable voucher for a sports store is probably a pretty good bet. Similarly, if you’re using vouchers as competition prizes for customers, make sure they’re aligned with your brand and will resonate with your target market.

2. They’re budget friendly

One of the most attractive features of digital vouchers is their easy and instant delivery – they’re sent directly to the recipient’s cellphone via SMS or via email to their inbox. Merchandise rewards, on the other hand, have a number of costs and logistics involved in simply getting the product out of the warehouse and into the customer’s hands. With none of these processes involved in electronic delivery, digital vouchers are a convenient and cost-effective option for brand and HR managers with tight budgets to manage.

3. And easy to redeem

While digital vouchers are easy to deliver, a significant benefit for the recipient is that they’re just as easy to redeem. Once a voucher reaches their inbox, all they need to do is head to the store, present it and redeem their reward. And unlike physical vouchers, which are likely to get shoved into a back pocket and lost in the wash, or stuck in a drawer and forgotten about, digital vouchers are safely stored on their cellphone until they’re ready to use them.

4. Plus, they can be personalised

Far from being an indifferent or low-effort gift, vouchers can actually be highly targeted and easy to personalise. As I mentioned earlier, the ever-growing number of retailers who accept and redeem vouchers means that you can choose exactly the right category for your target market. Giving someone a voucher for a brand you know they love seems pretty personal. Plus, you’re giving them the added benefit of choice when they use it. And there’s another way you can add a personal touch. Since digital vouchers are delivered via SMS or email, you can address the recipient directly and add a custom message.

5. Digital vouchers can also be a useful brand activation tool

Let’s say you’re planning an in-store brand activation to launch a new make-up range. Doing product giveaways via instant digital vouchers is a great way to get customers to engage with your promotion, try your products, and hopefully form a positive connection with your brand. After all, who doesn’t like free stuff?

6. And don’t forget the brand connection benefits

Whether your brand is high-end or cheap and cheerful, you’ve worked hard to position it in the mind of the consumer. So don’t be afraid to be picky when choosing retail vouchers to use for your employees, customers or sales partners. For example, if you’re a brand manager for a luxury fashion label and you’ve decided to gift skincare vouchers as a reward to loyal customers, going the budget beauty route is likely to disappoint. On the other hand, choosing a high-end brand for your vouchers could help to strengthen and support your positioning.

Voucher checklist

Decided to add digital vouchers to your rewards mix? Here are three questions to ask yourself to ensure you get it right.

  1. Does your choice of retail vouchers align with your brand and its values?
  2. Have you tailored your selection to fit your target market?
  3. Have you added a personalised message to make a bigger impact?


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Lauren Pollock

About Lauren Pollock

Lauren Pollock is one half of a small Cape Town copywriting studio. Since starting her career, she’s covered topics ranging from yoga to insurance. She’s also written extensively for various rewards and recognition programs.

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