Israel startup Rise.ai, which offers AI-driven customer re-engagement solutions, is making its gift cards available for purchase on Facebook and Instagram. This new feature will let small and medium businesses and enterprises (SMBs/SMEs) sell digital gift cards to their local community through Facebook and Instagram using the customers’ geo-location. This will enable businesses to reach many new customers, increase traffic and maintain their activity during the COVID-19 crisis.
Facebook selected the Israeli startup as one of the companies to implement the new gift card initiative. To let SMBs take the time they need to sell gift cards online, or build a new online gift card store, Rise.ai offers a free trial for all new customers. The company’s platform was designed to manage all the re-engagement activity of brands, including gift cards, loyalty cards, rewards, and refunds.
Rise.ai conducted an independent research of more than 3,000 businesses to uncover current behaviors regarding gift cards and store credit during the COVID-19 crisis. According to the survey, which was conducted from March 13 to April 24, the percentage of stores offering digital gift cards to their customers grew 37% in comparison to the prior six weeks. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, 58% of the surveyed businesses started to actively promote their gift card program. 53.5% of the merchants send gift cards or store credit to their customer base to bring them back to the store. The responses for store credit customers grew 21% compared to the prior six weeks.
In 2019 alone, Rise.ai has helped merchants generate $150 million in revenue and handled more than $1 billion in store credit. The young company, which was established in 2015, already serves more than 3,500 digital stores, over 80% of them in North America. Rise.ai is active in more than 50 countries around the world.
“The coronavirus pandemic requires businesses to sell and engage with merchants on more channels and to find more effective ways to prosper,” noted Yair Miron, founder and CEO of Rise.ai. “Since COVID-19 started to affect the market, we see tremendous need for advanced digital gift cards and store credit solutions to fuel the growth of merchants.”
Miron added: “We are excited to offer brands and businesses all the necessary infrastructure for quickly creating their gift card program and give them immediate exposure on both Facebook and Instagram. There is no better candidate than Facebook to lead these efforts, and digital gift cards are a great tool to support these companies.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our community and economy—they’ve always been there for us, and now it’s time for us to be there for them. We hope these gift cards will be useful in providing much needed support for them during this crucial time and empower our community to discover and share new small businesses,” said Melinda Petrunoff, Director of Small Business Facebook, ANZ.