Retailers face a new reality with rebates


A new study of 2,600 consumers by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, titled "Where It's At: a Connected Shopper Study,” shows that across retail categories, shoppers would prefer a higher value rebate versus some lower value offers. Additionally, 68% of shoppers said rebates are an attractive offer in-store and 65% said rebates are an attractive offer when shopping online.

"Rebates have grown in popularity with consumers over the last handful of years as savvier post-recession shoppers have found greater value in the deeper discounts rebates can offer versus other promotions," said Rodney Mason, GVP of marketing at Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, an international incentives and engagement company. "Retailers have a renewed interest in rebates because of this consumer demand.”

In response to the trend, Blackhawk has enhanced its product offering to deepen the value and reach of the promotional vehicles and integrate them further into the omnichannel shopping experience, according to Mason.

“Rebates give retailers the best of both worlds: They drive store and site traffic with the promise of best-in-market prices, but protect margins because not all shoppers redeem,” Mason said.

Among the new rebate offerings Blackhawk now provides are:

  • Rewards with exclusive 10% back when spent at the issuing retailer: Rebates paid out to consumers on prepaid cards, which offer 10% back when the card is spent at the issuing retailer — driving greater spend-back of reward dollars to the retail sponsor.

  • Loyalty auto-enroll: Allowing customers to automatically enroll in a retailer's loyalty program, while providing information required for the rebate redemption, significantly reducing the retailer's cost per loyalty acquisition.

  • Instant redemption: Consumers use unique redemption codes provided to the retailer by Blackhawk. Instant rebate validation can be confirmed during the rebate process.

  • Instant opt-In for savings messages: Customers who opt-in for more value offers during the rebate submission process can be automatically loaded in to the retailer's savings CRM promotion communications, which can immediately send savings campaigns to such customers.

  • Dynamic offer rebates: Upon completion of an online rebate submission, shoppers are offered an add-on deal or discount from the promotion sponsor; these offers can be dynamically customized based on shopper profile.

  • Customer surveys: Customers can be asked survey questions during the rebate submission process, which make them eligible for bonus rewards and custom offers.

  • Single sign-on/auto-populate rebates: A customer's login to the retailer's website transfers seamlessly to the rebate redemption page and auto-populates the rebate submission questions for a faster experience.

  • Social rewards rebates: Customers can earn bonus rewards for sharing their savings socially.