New Gift Voucher System – Buy or Build?
If you’re thinking about selling gift vouchers for your business, you’ll now be faced with the challenge of investigating the best way of doing this, from pre-printing codes on paper vouchers to a digital solution where customers can buy a range of gifts from your website.
While you could start off with an entirely manual process, this really isn’t a great way to go for a multitude of reasons (poor security, requires a lot of staff resource to track and manage redemptions, voucher printing costs etc … etc).
Your web developer may enthusiastically say that he/she can create an online shop for you. This sounds a bit more like it, but is it the best way forward?
Would it be better to install a specially-designed system like One Tree, which is ready use immediately – or have bespoke software built?
Which route will you take?
Gift Voucher System
Much more than an online shop
Beyond the voucher shop on your website, the One Tree Gift Voucher System provides you with comprehensive tracking and reporting of the lifecycle of every voucher. With access to the secure management portal you’ll know in real time whether a voucher is valid, redeemed or expired. So there’s no chance that a voucher can be used twice or after it has expired. Comprehensive reporting is also available, keeping accounts and managers happy.
Importantly, all email voucher purchases go out automatically and we also handle all the postal vouchers on your behalf. You’ll have no concerns about increasing staff overhead to deal with sending out vouchers at busy times, such as during the Christmas rush.
We provide free, personalised training for you and your staff on set up and whenever needed after that. If you, or your customers have any queries at any point, we are on hand with phone and email support to resolve issues.
Finally, we eat, drink and breathe vouchers (unlike your web developer!) and provide you with regular updates with hints, tips and resources to help you to grow your gift voucher business.
Low cost and low risk
One of the main advantages of subscribing to a system like One Tree is that it requires minimal capital outlay and therefore represents a lower business risk to you.
We don’t charge a set up fee
Set up includes:
- Customised voucher designs
- Writing copy
- Advising you on which gifts are likely to sell
- Helping you with all aspects of the installation
…. and it’s all free.
Admittedly, there is a on-going subscription, but as this is charged as a low commission rate on revenue, so you’ll only pay when sales are made. Because we operate on commission only basis, we’re also motivated to work in partnership with you to increase sales.
Speed of Installation
An off-the-shelf package is just that – prepared and ready to go. You’ll have to invest some time in liaising with us to make do some customisation and get everything up and running, but this pales into insignificance compared to the time and financial investment needed for writing the spec for bespoke software.
Installation and training will take up some of your time, but you’ll be looking at hours, rather than months. If a business need for gift vouchers has been identified, the quicker you can address it, the sooner you’ll generate new revenue.
Our software is developed to work in different scenarios, on different devices and is tested across the board.
Technology doesn’t stand still – the rate of change is sometimes quite frightening. Focusing on our products, following all the latest trends and issuing new releases of the software to reflect changing needs is what we do – month in, month out. If you use a bespoke piece of software it will be up to you to keep track of changing requirements and request upgrades as needed.
We also welcome feedback from our clients and can implement changes where requested.
Naturally though, everything has a downside. An off-the-shelf package may not deliver 100% of your requirements and you may decide that the bespoke route is the best option for your organisation.
The first consideration is, ‘When do I need this by? If you are planning a re-vamp of your whole IT system, then you may have factored in several months to achieve your goals and building a specialist system for any part of your business is then feasible. In addition, you may feel that you have found a software house with the right expertise for your project.
Software or web development is never cheap. Developers charge anything upwards of £400 per day. If the project is under-specified or over-promised you can blow the budget before you know it. Developers may be keen to say that they can implement your project, but then subcontract the work, taking the development further out of your control. A clearly written specification will help to prevent any disappointments on delivery!
The first job is to produce a thorough business specification. Your business needs are then translated into a technical specification to ensure that the software developers are doing what you want. Not only do you need to manage the development process with your software house, but must also feel confident that you can research and specify your requirements down to the last detail.
There is no doubt that for a large organisation with specialist needs, there are instances where bespoke systems will bring you advantages. An off-the-shelf package may deliver over 90% of what you need however, and you can always enquire whether an existing system can be modified to your specific needs.
Louise Callan, Marketing Director, One Tree. If you would like to find out more about how an online gift voucher service would benefit your business, please feel free to send an email or call us on 01761 472911.