Asian-American cuisine restaurant operator Panda Express, which has 2,000 eateries across the United States, is running a new digital gift card program using services provided by Blackhawk Network, Blackhawk announced today.
"The partnership allows Panda Express to provide a seamless eCommerce experience for customers in digital channels across devices," Blackhawk said in a prepared statement announcing the arrangement, which launched in June.
“As consumers continue to be faced with limited gifting options as a result of the pandemic, we are excited to be able to offer digital gifting solutions to help us meet our guests’ expectations,” said Scott Varley, Panda Express' senior manager of retail and off-premise, in a prepared statement. “Through our partnership with Blackhawk, we were able to not only simplify the experience for our guests, but also triple our eCommerce gift card sales in the first two months on the platform.”
Blackhawk said sales data indicates that gift cards sold by restaurants either at eateries or on their websites in the United States are up 70 percent compared with a year ago.
“Even before the rapid shift to digital that we are experiencing now, everything was moving toward being conducted digitally," Jennifer Philo, Blackhawk Network's global vice president for business development, said in a prepared statement. "This new program perfectly positions Panda Express to continue serving their customers across devices, wherever they are."
She added: "By leveraging our digital gifting platform, Panda Express is able to not only cater to today’s diverse, cross-channel shopping behaviors, but also to deliver a customized, engaging experience.”
Industry players have said in recent years that the use of gift cards in new businesses – and within sectors where they already are popular – has been expanding significantly.