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InComm reports on popularity of digital gift cards

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InComm reports on popularity of digital gift cards

Earlier this month, InComm announced survey results highlighting consumer intentions for buying gift cards (digital ones to be specific) from websites and mobile devices during the holiday season. The survey was conducted online during November 2013. You can read the entire press release here, but there are some key insights from the data that we’d like to share with you.

While perceived by many to be ubiquitous, gift cards are hardly losing popularity with consumers. The survey reported:

  1. 88% are likely to purchase at least one gift card from an online website or mobile website/app this holiday season
  2. Of that group, 20% plan to purchase more than 5 gift cards
  3. Nearly 70% strongly agree that they are more interested in purchasing digital gift cards now than they were two to three years ago
  4. The volume of intended gift card purchases was surprisingly strong as 44% said they were planning to buy more than 4 gift cards.

Restaurants and casual dining establishments dominated the groups of most popular merchants for gift card purchase at 54%, followed closely by department stores at 44% and online retailers at 35%. The survey shared information on the typical value loaded on gift cards as 54% of respondents place between $25-49, while 20% place between $50-74.

The mobile channel seems to be taking center stage in gift card fulfillment, as 40% of respondents said they prefer to have a digital gift card scanned from their phone rather than carry an email printout from home. For the record, a digital gift card was defined as a card that is emailed to the recipient, and a physical gift card defined as a traditional gift card that is shipped to the recipient.

InComm is a leading prepaid product and transaction services company and Mike Fletcher, SVP Sales & Marketing, Digital Solutions, concluded from the survey that “Brands can dramatically improve sales throughout the year – especially at the holidays – by opening up gift card sales through all channels. This research shows that consumers want more options for buying and sending gift cards, giving retailers even more reason to expand their offering and ensure an optimal shopping experience for the gift giver and receiver.”

Supporting the statement, the survey showed that among those who have bought a gift card from an online or mobile website/app, 36% have purchased a physical gift card, while 33% have purchased a digital gift card and 31% have purchased both. 87% wanted the option to purchase either type of card.

Interest in gift card purchases is forecasted to remain strong as nearly 70% strongly agree or agree they are more interested in purchasing digital gift cards now than they were two to three years ago. The motivations driving gift card purchases range from the ease of instant delivery to being environmentally friendly. You can look at the details in the company press release, but the top two drivers were instant delivery (62%) and easier to send (42%).

Based on this survey, the future is bright for consumer gift card purchases, proving once again that “one size fits all” is not a bad gift giving strategy.

 

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