Why you should keep track of gift certificates
If you are a small business and you give/sell gift cards (also called gift vouchers) to your customers, chances are you don’t have an integrated gift card solution which can be quite expensive.
Therefore, if you offer gift vouchers to your customers, you need a way to track them, mainly for fraud and accounting reasons. Let’s see why this is necessary:
- you need to prevent customers from being scammed by reprinting gift vouchers, losing your business money.
- if you allow customers to redeem a partial amount of the certificate’s value, you need to know what amount is still available for redemption.
- you also need to find out which certificates have been used, if you want to evaluate the performance of your certificate program.
- you may be interested in getting more detailed knowledge about the gift voucher: when it was sold, what promotion it was part of, etc…
Gift voucher tracking using a manual code
In this tracking system, each certificate is required to have a unique, random certificate number. Indeed, to be able to identify a certificate, its serial number must be unique. The random number is also important because it prevents people from reprinting the certificate and using a text formatting program to change its serial number to make it look like a valid new one. In fact, to reduce the chance of people guessing a valid code, you can include letters and other special characters in the serial number.
How to generate gift voucher codes
You can use random code generator software or generate the codes yourself. In any case, make sure you have a registry of current certificates in use. You can use Microsoft Excel or any spreadsheet program to maintain such a list. You need to make sure that customers can’t see such a list, because you don’t want them to know the valid certificate numbers. In this file, you may want to include the certificate’s serial number, date of issue, value of the certificate, amount redeemed, and any other information you find valuable to track, such as what promotion the certificate is part of, whether it was sold or given to a customer, etc. .
An easier option: generating barcodes for gift vouchers
If you want an easier and more automated way to track gift vouchers, you can print a barcode on each gift voucher to integrate nicely with your point of sale software. Contact your point-of-sale software vendor to see if they can provide such integration.