Why you should keep track of gift certificates
If you are a small business and are giving / selling gift certificates (also called gift vouchers) to your customers, you may not have an integrated gift card solution that can be quite expensive.
Therefore, if you are offering gift vouchers to your customers, you need a way to keep track of them, primarily for fraud and accounting reasons. Let’s see why it is necessary:
- you need to avoid customer fraud by reprinting a gift voucher and thus making your business lose money.
- if you allow customers to redeem a partial amount of the certificate value, you need to know how much is still available to redeem.
- You also need to find out which certificates have been exchanged if you want to evaluate the performance of your certificate program.
- You may also be interested in getting to know the gift voucher better: when it was sold, what promotion it was part of, etc …
Track gift certificates using a manual code
In this tracking system, you need each certificate to have a unique, random certificate number. In fact, to be able to identify a certificate, its serial number must be unique. A random number is also important, as it prevents people from reprinting a certificate and using a text formatting program to change its serial number to make it look like a new valid one. In fact, in order to reduce the chance that people will guess a valid code, you can also add letters and other special characters to the serial number.
How to generate gift certificate codes
You can use random code generator software or generate the codes yourself. In any case, make sure you have a record of the current certificates in use. You can use Microsoft Excel or any spreadsheet program to maintain this list. You must ensure that customers cannot see this list because you do not want them to know valid certificate numbers. In this file, you might want to specify the serial number of the certificate, the date of issue, the value of the certificate, the amount exchanged, and any other information that you consider useful for tracking, such as which promotion is part of. the certificate, if it has been sold or given to the customer, etc …
An easier option: generate barcodes for gift vouchers
If you want a simpler, more automated way to track gift vouchers, you can print a barcode on each gift voucher to integrate well with your point-of-sale software. Contact your point-of-sale software vendor to see if they can offer this integration.