ActSmart makes the case for its programme, which can 'attract new customers and increase customer loyalty'

Ever considered using gift cards in your bike shop?

Gift cards now represent a staggering 55 per cent of all gift sales in the UK. The market experienced its highest year-on-year sales growth in 2011 and the UK market is now worth circa £4 billion p.a. at retail.

Most of the UK’s major retailers already reap the rewards of prepaid gift cards and with consumer demand escalating it’s time that specialist retailers took a slice of the cake.

ActSmart is launching its hotly anticipated ‘The Experts’ gift card initiative in March. The programme is exclusively available to specialist retailers in the outdoor pursuits and leisure sectors.

Retailers will be able to offer their customers a professionally produced gift card with a low cost entry point along with national recognition as part of The Experts gift card retail network.

Every retailer can participate
The Experts gift card programme is available to every specialist retailer in the UK and has no set up fee or commission charges. The only cost of start up is the purchase of the cards themselves.

All participants will benefit from a national promotional campaign with consumers able to search for retailers stocking gift cards using The Cycling Experts business search, which serves an increasing number of leading consumer cycling sites like. British Cycling, for example.

There is a plethora of card designs to choose from at, including cycle specific and more general, seasonal and festive options.

Personalised to your business
The Experts gift cards are an ideal way for retailers to promote their business and brand. A logo and address details can be printed directly onto the card so the recipient knows exactly where to redeem it.

The Experts gift cards have no value until they’re activated at the till allowing them to be securely displayed alongside your products on the shop floor.

Purchases with a gift card are proven to drive a higher spend than standard transactions. 81 per cent of gift card recipients spend on average 50 per cent more than the card value.

The Experts pre-paid gift cards can be used to encourage loyalty towards a retailer. Because the Experts gift cards use a closed loop system (only redeemable at your business) it enables retailers to offer rewards and incentives for returning to the shop.

The Experts gift card programme can also be expanded to offer exclusive promotions and special offers driving traffic, increasing retention and providing a competitive edge. They are even the perfect answer to Christmas Club purchases.

Watch out for new developments using The Experts gift cards throughout 2012.

In order to join the Experts gift card network retailers need to be an ActSmart member – any retailer can join for free – and have an HSBC Merchant Services card processing terminal – preferential ActSmart card processing rates can be applied.

ActSmart members can then visit and simply choose your card designs to get started.

Visit or call ActSmart on 0845 618 7256 to find out more.

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