3 Strategic Ways Retailers Can Use Virtual Prepaid Cards
Virtual prepaid cards are powerful tools for building customer loyalty, because they provide a payment alternative that suits customers’ online shopping needs. With the dangers of bank fraud and online identity theft, many customers are understandably security conscious. Besides, some already don’t particularly trust bank accounts (especially millennials), let alone using their debit/credit card online. For this reason, alternatives such as virtual prepaid cards can appeal to consumers. It’s a way for them to freely shop online at your store without worrying about the risk of card fraud.
Because prepaid cards are so flexible, they make it easy for retailers to build promotional incentives while saving them money (since they don’t have to purchase physical cards) and time (since virtual cards can be distributed by email).
Although they are not physical cards, they work the same way. They have a 16-digit card number and CVV just like a credit card. Because prepaid cards are so flexible, they make it easy for retailers to build promotional incentives while saving them money (since they don’t have to purchase physical cards) and time (since virtual cards can be distributed by email). In addition to supplying customers with shopping cards, retailers can also offer incentives such as rebates and customer referrals.
Customer Shopping Card
A virtual prepaid shopping card facilitates online shopping for your customers. Instead of using their credit or debit card, why not make it more secure for them to shop online at your store? Virtual cards are not connected to a customer’s bank account, which prevents thieves from accessing your customers’ personal information. The cards can be set up for either one-time or recurring purchases. Recurring charges to a virtual card can only be used at the designated merchant, so a stolen number cannot be used at another location. See the recent article by CNBC News for more details.
Research shows that a well-executed rebate program can increase sales, secure recurring loyal customers, and push certain products. Rebates are appealing because they provide customers with the option of making a purchase, with an added discount, at a later date. Consequently, the retailer receives valuable information about customers in exchange for the rebate.
In a recent survey called “Where it’s at Shopper Study?,” 1,300 women were surveyed about whether they preferred instant discounts on the spot or discounts to be redeemed at a later date. The study showed that rebates were the strongest preference among the respondents, with 65% saying they prefer online rebates. With virtual prepaid cards, they can redeem their rebate from the convenience of their own homes, saving them a trip to the mall, while also providing a significant discount.
Offering valuable referral incentives can benefit both the referrer and their referees. However, the referral incentive must be appealing to your customers, something that resonates with them. It should also be offered at the right time. For example, offer referral incentives to customers when they’ve had a great interaction with the company or a satisfying shopping experience. Similarly, offer referrals incentives that customers value for themselves and promotions that will appeal to their friends and family.
Here are some stats that prove the value of referrals to customers:
- 65% of business comes from referrals (New York Times)
- 92% of people trust recommendations from family and friends more than all other forms of marketing (Nielsen)
- 87% of people go out and look for advice before choosing a product or service (Nielsen)
A virtual prepaid card is a useful and attractive option for a referral incentive because it offers customers both monetary value and flexibility. If the referral incentive continues for a stretch of time, retailers can disburse money with ease for every referral the customer makes. This allows your customers to freely shop online at your store without having to use their personal debit/credit card.