The majority of consumers intend to purchase two or more gift cards online or by mobile means this holiday season.
InComm has recently released research highlighting consumer shopping trends for purchasing digital and physical gift cards from Websites and mobile devices.
Of the consumers surveyed, 89% have purchased two or more gift cards by online or mobile means annually. Respondents answered questions about their purchasing habits and their intentions for purchasing gift cards from Websites and mobile devices – as well as digital cards specifically – this holiday season and beyond. Highlights include:
- 94% intend to purchase two or more gift cards by online or mobile means this holiday season, and 76% agree that they are likely to purchase at least one digital gift card
- 84% of respondents between 18-25 agree that they’re likely to purchase at least one digital gift card this holiday season
- Of those who intend to purchase gift cards from online websites or mobile websites/apps this holiday season, nearly 23% plan to purchase 5 or more gift cards
- Nearly 90% of respondents between 18-25 agree that they are more interested in purchasing digital gift cards now than they were two to three years ago
- 66% of respondents between 26-35 prefer to have a digital gift card scanned from their phone rather than an email printout
- 71% of total respondents, and 81% of those between 18-25, are interested in storing and using gift cards on their phones
- 96% of total respondents agree that they’re interested in storing digital gift cards on their phone for self-use
- Nearly 41% of those who have purchased gift cards from online websites or mobile websites/apps purchase five to 10 cards annually
“Retailers can drive online sales as well as brick and mortar traffic by offering consumers both physical and digital cards and ensuring a retail process that accounts for the redemption of prepaid cards through mobile means,” said Mike Fletcher, general manager, digital solutions, InComm. “This study demonstrates the continued consumer adoption of digital prepaid cards across all age demographics. It also shows the significant increase in digital prepaid being employed by consumers for self-use. Retailers need to keep these consumer trends in mind in order to continue providing consistent excellence in customer service and support across all channels.”
2015 Holiday Intentions
Some 94% of respondents intend to purchase at least one gift card from an online website or mobile website/app this holiday season, while 76% agree that they are likely to purchase at least one digital gift card. About 84% of respondents between 18-25 and 75% of those between 26-45 agree that they’re likely to purchase at least one digital gift card this holiday season. The feedback was clear, in contrast to results from 2014, consumers are not looking to purchase one card this holiday season; they’re buying four or more.
Participants were asked how many gift cards they intend to purchase from online Websites or mobile websites/apps this holiday season:
- 6% are likely to buy one
- 43% are likely to buy two to three
- 27% are likely to buy four to five
- 24% are likely to buy more than five
Purchasing Physical versus Digital Gift Cards
Of those who have bought a gift card from an online website or a mobile Website/app, 29% have purchased a physical gift card, while 32% have purchased a digital gift card and 39% have purchased both. A digital gift card was defined as a card that is emailed to the recipient, and a physical gift card was defined as a traditional gift card that is shipped to the recipient. “While the percentage of consumers purchasing only physical cards went down, given the increased percentage of those who have purchased both physical and digital cards in comparison to results received last year, digital gift cards continue to gain in popularity.” When asked how many gift cards they purchase from online Websites or mobile Websites/apps annually, respondents answered:
- 11% purchase one
- 49% purchase two to four
- 23% purchase five to seven
- 10% purchase eight to 10
- 8% purchase more than 10
When deciding whether to purchase a digital gift card or a physical gift card, more than one-third state that it depends on who they’re buying the card for. In fact, 61% prefer to have the option to purchase either a physical gift card or a digital gift card when purchasing gift cards from online Websites or mobile Websites/apps.
Digital and Mobile on the Rise
About 76% agree that they’re likely to purchase at least one digital gift card this holiday season. For those between 18-25, 84% are likely to purchase at least one digital gift card over that same period.
Also, 81% agree that they’re more interested in purchasing digital gift cards now than they were two to three years ago, with numbers higher among younger respondents:
Ages 18-25: 88% agree
Ages 26-35: 86% agree
Ages 36-45: 89% agree
Ages 46-55: 77% agree
Ages 56-65: 64% agree
Over 65: 47% agree
56% of respondents agree that if they receive a digital gift card, they prefer to have the card scanned from their phone rather than carry an email printout. These numbers are higher among younger respondents:
Ages 18-25: 64% agree
Ages 26-35: 66% agree
Ages 36-45: 65% agree
Ages 46-55: 52% agree
Ages 56-65: 33% agree
Over 65: 15% agree
Further, 71% of respondents are interested in storing and using gift cards on their phones. Again, interest is higher among younger respondents but it should also be noted that there is increased interest among those over 35 years of age:
Ages 18-25: 81% agree
Ages 26-35: 82% agree
Ages 36-45: 82% agree
Ages 46-55: 57% agree
Ages 56-65: 47% agree
Over 65: 24% agree
Also, 96% of respondents agree that they’re interested in storing digital gift cards on their phone for self-use, such as for budgeting purposes, to earn loyalty rewards, etc. Among those aged 18-25, 95% agree that they’re interested. Both of these figures represent tremendous gains in adoption over the previous year.
Gift Card Shopping Preferences
Respondents answered the reasons that they have purchased digital gift cards in the past:
- 68% said instant delivery
- 51% said easier to send
- 45% said easier and quicker for me to purchase
- 37% said easier to redeem
- 36% said security
- 27% said harder to lose
- 22% said are a cool gift to give
- 20% said the recipient prefers digital gift cards
- 19% said environmentally friendly
- 19% said variety of designs to choose from (birthday, holiday, etc.)
- 19% said variety of denominations available
- 16% said ability to personalize the message
Overall, respondents cited the following considerations during the purchasing experience when buying digital gift cards:
- 96% cited convenience/ease of use
- 88% cited preferred delivery method
- 63% cited security
- 54% cited ability to personalize
- 41% cited other reasons
Gift Cards and Loyalty Programs
When asked if they participate in a loyalty program (earning points for purchase), 84% of respondents stated that they do. 55% participate in two to three loyalty programs, 16% in four to five, and 19% in one. When asked how they use their points to purchase, 41% said gift card, 27% said cash rebate, 23% for a product, 7% said airline miles and 2% said experiences (wine tasting, concert, etc.).
Cash and gift cards are top choices by far when it comes to the types of rewards respondents prefer to receive from an employer. Further, 36% of respondents agreed that they were more likely to purchase a product that was accompanied by a prepaid incentive and 49% agreed that prepaid promotions influence the products they purchase on a regular basis.
When asked if they were to receive a reward for making a purchase, in what format would you prefer to receive the reward, 52% answered a prepaid Visa card, while 40% answered a gift card and 8% said mail-in rebate. When using loyalty points, 41% of respondents chose prepaid products above all other options, including cash.
More than 500 respondents were surveyed online in October 2015.