A recent shopper survey from Blackhawk Network, examining how consumers use plastic versus digital gift cards or egifts, has revealed that consumers tend to purchase plastic gift cards to give as gifts and use egifts more for themselves. The survey also explored how consumers use shopper rewards for incentives.
“Gift cards remain incredibly popular and the expansion into digital forms has provided new opportunities for both retailers and consumers,” said Teri Llach, chief marketing officer at Blackhawk Network, a pioneer of prepaid gift cards, payments tools and rewards delivered via a robust and convenient network. “Our research shows that plastic gift cards are used primarily for gifting, while egifts are more often used for self-use. Digital gifts, such as egifts and e-codes, are helping to drive rewards and incentive programs in an incremental way.”
Findings from the 2015 Blackhawk Network survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers revealed:
Plastic gift cards are the more popular gifting option. The majority of survey respondents (86%) have purchased plastic gift cards in the last year, and nearly half of the consumers surveyed (43%) bought plastic gift cards solely for gift-giving. Alternately, 58% of consumers purchased an egift in the last year. Of those who purchased egifts, most shoppers purchased them for a combination of gifting and self-use, with only 27% of consumers buying egifts solely for gift-giving.
Discounts, rewards and self-use are all driving popularity of egifts. While plastic gift cards remain the more popular choice for gifting, consumers purchase and receive egifts for different reasons, like through a discount or a reward program for self-use. According to the survey, when looking at the total number of gift cards purchased in one year, 63% of egifts purchased are being used for self-use. Additionally, the prevalence of consumers purchasing egifts at a discount or receiving them through reward or rebate offerings is evident in the Blackhawk study. 37% have purchased an egift at a discounted rate and 65% have received an egift as part of a rebate or reward program within the last year. The majority of those recipients (86%) have kept their egift to use themselves.
eGifts are more prevalent among Millennials than other generations. According to the survey, this active online shopping generation purchases more egifts than other age groups (76%). They also receive more egifts as gifts (71%). With Millennials, 53% of plastic gift cards and 31% of egifts purchased are used for gifting.