by Alex Palmer | December 13, 2016

Gift card merchants looking to expand or simplify their offerings now have a new tool to consider. Payment solution company Blackhawk Network has announced the launch of Hawk Commerce, a comprehensive turnkey offering for both B2B and B2C gift card programs. The new solution aims to provide broad distribution for merchants' cards to retailers, online outlets, and incentive providers, while allowing them to easily manage their program.

One potential benefit for incentive program managers should be a growing number of gift card and e-card award options -- notably among small and medium-sized companies and local and regional merchants.

"Merchants we've heard from have a desire to more easily provide their gift card to the B2B market, getting it out to bulk purchasers or in large quantities -- but that's a lot if done manually," Teri Llach, chief marketing officer for Blackhawk Network, told Incentive, adding that many merchants doing their own gift card programs can find the process time-consuming -- especially when trying to send bulk purchases to multiple addresses (a service Hawk Commerce provides). "We have gotten feedback over and over that they wanted a single-source platform that allows them to set up their own card to sell to the B2C or B2B market."

That platform, under the umbrella of Hawk Commerce, is Hawk Direct, where brands and retailers can manage their loyalty programs, promotions, and other gift card campaigns. Those using Hawk Direct can create their own Gift Card Mall which can sell cards individually to consumers or in bulk to corporate and incentive clients. Besides selling through Blackhawk's own and, merchants would be provided with their own custom domain.

"With a white-label website of their own, we enable [merchants] to sell their own gift cards in bulk and provide other offers," said Llach. "Companies know they have to compete in the gift card space, but it's not their main business. Gift cards are our business, so we take that out of their hands." 

The program offers custom integration into a merchant's existing website, allowing for a seamless experience for both consumers and enterprise clients. It also provides real-time reporting and analytics of customer purchasing habits as well as mobile shopping support and integration.