WASHINGTON — Americans love giving and receiving gift cards. According to a survey of more than 1,100 U.S. consumers from the Retail Gift Card Association, 77% of consumers have given a gift card in the past year and 90% have received at least one in the past year.
In addition, most consumers don’t require a sale or promotion to purchase a gift card, and the No. 1 reason shoppers like to give or receive gift cards is that they allow the end users to purchase what they want. Sixty-five percent of consumers prefer the convenience of gift cards when giving a gift from a group, and 74% of shoppers will wait for a sale or promotion before redeeming their cards. Other key findings include:
- Mobile and e-code gifts are still emerging: 54% of consumers have not heard of mobile gift cards or e-codes, and only 17% of shoppers are “very comfortable” using them. However, 62% of the respondents who choose mobile/e-code gift cards do so when they need to get it there right away.
- Significant benefit to retailers: Gift cards get shoppers in the door to purchase more; 72% do some shopping for themselves when going to a store or website to purchase a gift card. Also, gift cards increase sales during redemption; 45% of shoppers will spend more than the value of the gift card when they redeem.
“Convenience and choice make gift cards extremely popular among consumers,” said Mary Donovan, executive director of the RGCA. “Although mobile gift cards and e-codes are not widely used by consumers, we anticipate that the adoption of these technologies will continue to rise into the future. From a business perspective, we are pleased to see the degree to which gift card sales deliver benefits to retailers: consumers report spending more when both purchasing and redeeming gift cards.”