Kroger customers can now expediently and simply order gift cards for curbside pickup in addition to their supermarket items at 1,900 of the chain’s locations throughout the nation, according to a Monday (Dec. 21) announcement from Blackhawk Network.
The collaboration between Kroger and Blackhawk Network harnesses the latter company’s on-demand activation functions to let shoppers put a gift card in their carts along with different items they are buying. The shoppers can activate the gift cards they bought once they retrieve their orders and adhere to instructions, according to the announcement.
Blackhawk Network Head of Commerce Brett Narlinger said in the announcement that the company has witnessed surges in 2020 in eCommerce and shoppers harnessing buy online, pick up curbside options but there has not been a method to have gift cards included in that experience.
“Our new solution offers a quick and seamless solve for that, providing customers a new and contactless way to continue buying gift cards at grocery while creating a new channel for retailers to engage and drive revenue,” Narlinger said.
Blackhawk Network provides branded payment solutions via the prepaid offerings, network and technologies that link brands and individuals. It teams with its partners to “innovate, translating market trends in branded payments to increase reach, loyalty and revenue,” according to the announcement.
Kroger Director of Prepaid Services Jarrod Cummins said in the announcement that the company is always searching for new and smooth methods to engage its digital customers, particularly with the quick and broad curbside pickup adoption in recent months.
“Leveraging Blackhawk’s On Demand Activation capabilities to add gift cards to curbside pickup allowed us to quickly adapt and innovate to shifting consumer behavior by providing an engaging customer experience for shoppers anywhere they shop — in-store or online,” Cummins said in the announcement.
Digital gift cards were already seeing increasing popularity before the pandemic pressed its foot down on the accelerator on all things digital, but COVID-19 has dramatically heightened their prevalence in shopper’s carts this holiday season.