Although the festival season is in the last leg with Diwali, which is around the corner culminating the season, brands seem to have left no stone unturned to make shopping experiences pleasant for customers this year. While all major brands are giving out seasonal offers and discounts, many big brands have gone a step ahead and have even integrated their gift cards, in a bid to offer seamless experience.
In a first this festive season, customers of major brands like Nike, Fastrack, Titan, Shoppers Stop and others need not go into a store alone to use their gift cards. Where ever the brand has presence, online or offline, the customers can make use of their gift cards. The quick gift transition system or QwikPosAPIX, enabled by Qwikcilver, has customers of all major brands shop across touch points through this program.
Pratap T.P, co-founder and CMO, Qwikcilver, which has tied-up with the major brands to offer this program, said, “As many as 60 major brands have partnered with us in their debut to offer integrated services. Whether it’s an offline or an online player or a hotel or just an institution, brands want to provide a seamless engagement model in order to ensure the consumer has seamless experience across all touch points where a brand is present.”
He says the idea has clicked with many brands and customers since even if the ecosystem (store or an ecommerce marketplace) is not under the control of a brand, customers will still be able to experience the seamless integration.
According to Pratap, brands have turned to several innovative ways to connect with their customers this season and the quick gift transition is one among them.
He says apart from the quick gift, brands are also using new facilities like wallet feature which will allow customers to use multiple currencies at a store. “This means a customer can load all his credit note, gift cards, promo cards and even vouchers without undergoing the pain of remembering which is applicable to which brand, and can use them at his convenience. These facilities are electronically managed and can be easily integrated,” Pratap says.
Spike in growth
While the service has been launched on pilot basis 12 weeks ago and most of the big brands have adopted it around six weeks back, there has been a phenomenal response to the quick gift transition, notes Pratap.
“In the last two months, (from September to October) there has been a 3X growth in the sales and more brands are in different stages of adopting this integrated service. Also, due to the increase in third party destinations, the sales of gift cards have been higher. For instance, a customer can now buy a SPAR gift card from Amazon, Snapdeal and other ecommerce marketplace. Incidentally, as a result of the increase in gift cards, there are higher walk-ins to the brand outlets,” he says.
Department stores, fashion highest selling categories
Meanwhile, Pratap adds that while department stores, fashion, electronics and apparel are the top selling categories for integrated services, there has been a rapid growth in travel, hospitality and experiences gifting.
“Our latest collaboration with Uber to issue gift cards has seen good response and there has been 7X growth in the transaction in this category alone,” he says.
Going forward, Pratap says in the next 6 months about 80 per cent of the 150 brands that have partnered with Qwikcilver will provide integrated services and the quick gift service will continue to grow with more customers and brands.