Yeah you read that right! 

We love it when indies have their own gift cards, it shows they understand the value of offering them as an option to their customers. However, as a small business, with a million other things to think about, doing your own gift cards well can be difficult. Systems often don’t support the use of them easily and they can be a bit, well, cumbersome. We just want you to know about another type of gift card that can simply work alongside your own, to expose your business to entirely new revenue streams.


Individual gift cards for local businesses certainly have their place, done well they can work absolutely fine; however, they are inherently limited in their nature for two main reasons…. audience size and awareness. Small businesses, in the main, have limited catchment areas for customers. Physical ones especially. Online businesses obviously benefit from a potentially bigger audience; however, they still need to drive awareness and without consistently pumping money into marketing, it can be a challenge to get noticed amongst all the other websites offering similar things. 

More often than not, the person buying the indie store gift card and the person receiving the gift card have to pretty much live in the same area. Afterall, how would someone that lives on the other side of the city (or in another city) have any idea which indies you use and shop in day in day out? My mum lives in Manchester and I’m not afraid to admit I have literally no idea which local businesses she uses (and visa versa). 

With OPEN you can spend our cards in any registered independent business. So you don’t have to worry about knowing the exact coffee shop or deli that someone uses, you simply get them an OPEN card and they can spend it in places they use all the time….or of course, they can explore all those new places they’ve still not got round to trying yet.


Local gift card schemes do exist up and down the country and they can work well, however they suffer the same limitations – audience size and awareness. People need to live in the area to know they exist and the companies behind them often don’t have the resources to promote them properly. The spend level is still limited to just local. We want indies to think bigger than this, there is a whole other world of gifting spend out there and we want to give small business owners access to it!

OPEN is a marketing driven business, our goal is to create awareness for our members and drive footfall and new sales.

We are going up against Amazon, Starbucks, TK Maxx – we want to take gift card spend away from these big retailers and drive it into local businesses. The more volume and variety of indies we have on board, the more attractive an option OPEN is as a gifting option.


OPEN is already talking with some of the biggest employee reward and customer incentive providers. Literally billions of pounds are spent in this area each year and OPEN will be representing indies at this level. We want employees to take their staff reward (or customers to take that incentive for signing up to that new contract) and spend it in local businesses, not big retailers. We are opening up NATIONAL GIFT CARD SPEND TO INDIES.

So please do keep offering your own gift cards and by all means sign up to a local scheme, but please don’t just limit yourself to local spend!