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Jan 21, 2016

Gift Card Channels Innovate

InComm Teams Up with eBay

Arlene Hauben

Consumers have gotten used to picking out gift cards from racks in supermarkets, drug stores, department stores, and convenience stores. They purchase gift cards through the internet, by accessing favorite retail websites, such as Starbucks or Home Depot, and by shopping on general purchase gift card sites.

A new seller of physical gift cards is Cardency, an innovative gift card company owned and operated by InComm. The Cardency store front resides on eBay where consumers have a quick and easy way to purchase physical gift cards for their favorite brands and retailers – all in one location. The eBay store component was added to InComm’s other fulfillment channels.

I recently purchased a Kohl’s gift card on Cardency in the amount of $25 and it arrived in about 10 days through the mail. At this time, physical fulfillment is the only option. The Cardency store front on eBay offers shoppers a variety of denominations from premium brands, within a trusted shopping experience backed by the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Customers are able to purchase gift cards for restaurants, sporting goods, entertainment, fashion, home improvement, health and beauty products, and more. It includes some of the most popular brands in the country and denominations range from $25 to $100.

"Because of eBay's size and reach, we see significant demand for gift cards. That kind of velocity – combined with InComm's portfolio of gift card partners, technology and fulfillment capabilities – bring consumers a new way to find gift cards for the brands and stores they love," said Mike Fletcher, general manager of InComm Digital Solutions.

InComm and eBay Collaboration

Fletcher sees a good fit between eBay and InComm because of the fulfillment platform.

“InComm’s infrastructure allows us to make a large catalog available for fulfillment on eBay,” noted Fletcher. “During the holiday season, we saw a lot of activity and volume was good.”

The most popular cards were ones with added incentives, or “promos” such as BOGO (buy one, get one) and discounts, both of which drive the majority of the volume seen by InComm.

Fletcher said that they work with brands to create promos, adding, “That’s the value proposition that InComm brings to the table. This allows brands to reach the type of consumers that are on eBay.”

Gift cards currently purchased through the Cardency store on eBay do not include any purchase fees. There is a minimal $1 shipping charge that includes shipment tracking. Within its eBay store, Cardency plans to run promotions that will offer consumers additional value on their gift card purchases, like discounts or buy-one, get-one offers.

"We kept our shipping fees low and included tracking to make the consumer experience predictable and positive," Fletcher said. "We're excited about the promotions we are introducing through Cardency so we can provide even more value to our consumers. "

As for eBay, the popular e-commerce site has always had a big focus on gift cards and is making the shift because it recognizes the continuing demand for gift cards.  Of the number of searches on eBay, the gift card sector was in the top ten, according to Fletcher.

In the near future, Fletcher sees growth on the physical side. Digital gift cards are growing but not at the expense of physical cards.

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