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PLEASANTON, Calif. — As technology becomes a more prominent factor in retail, branded value is one way for convenience store operators to be rewarded for their services while rewarding customers for their patronage, according to newly released research from Blackhawk Network.
Under the umbrella of branded value is gift cards, mobile wallets, app payment, contactless payment, loyalty points, rebates and coupons.
Each branded-value category can provide a positive experience for consumers that will make them more engaged with a brand and, therefore, more likely to spend money.
Blackhawk Network’s study, entitled “Branded Value: Rewarding Experiences Driving Consumer Engagement and Spending,” polled 1,034 American respondents aged 18 and older. According to the findings, consumers currently have greater trust for brands — like their favorite c-store — than for their banks, social networks, the government or media.
Eighty-one percent of those surveyed counted themselves a member of a loyalty program in the last year. Additionally, 85 percent had used a coupon in the past year, 83 percent had used a gift card, and 42 percent had used prepaid or rebate cards.
The study found that people enjoy the experience of both giving and receiving gift cards and e-gifts, and that more than half say that receiving gifts and e-gifts makes them more likely to visit a store more often.
On the lower end of the spectrum and where there’s room for growth, only 36 percent of those surveyed said they regularly use mobile or other contactless payments at retailers, and just 29 percent had used a prepaid offer, such as a Groupon or LivingSocial deal.
Rebate users, alternative payment users, and loyalty program members would recommend a retailer based on their respective branded value experiences. Rebate users and loyalty program users believe they save money, while alternative payment users believe they save valuable time.
The right branded solutions can make things easier for customers, which suggests that brands have never been more powerful, Blackhawk Network concluded.
Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. is a global stored value and payments provider that debuted as a subsidiary of Safeway in 2011. Blackhawk now supports the program management and distribution of gift cards, telecom products and financial services products in retail, digital and incentive channels. The company's digital platform enables the management of stored value products, promotions, and loyalty programs.