Posts Tagged ‘Gift Card Trends’

Gift Card Trends for Holiday 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Holiday season will be quickly approaching and as gift cards are still a growing part of most retailers businesses, they will be paying close attention to their gift card business and new gift card trends for 2014. By 2016 the gift card business is expected to grow by close to $20 billion. Of course this varies by industry, but it’s not all that unusual for a retailer to see as much as 50% of their fourth quarter business come from gift cards.

There are several new gift card trends that retailers need to be aware of as they begin preparing for the holiday season.

  1. One trend, and probably the biggest, is the growth of digital gift cards. Digital gift cards can be stored on consumer’s mobile phones and computers. Cards can easily be used online and some retailers are even accepting mobile phones at POS (or point of sale).
  2. Along with digital programs, retailers are developing a closer relationship between their gift cards and loyalty programs, offering their cards as part of loyalty program offerings and using gift cards in lieu of in-store discounts and other special offerings such as, “Buy X amount of dollars of product, and received a free gift card.”
  3. Trending on the environmental side, some retailers have considered replacing plastic cards with cards from a renewable material such as paper or wood.

Retailers need to start planning these programs out now and not let another year go by without a strong program in place. If a retailer waits until the end of the third quarter it will be too late to reap the rewards. And it’s not just the large retailers that are relying on the gift card market, many small and mid-sized businesses are also finding ways to offer gift cards.

Is your retail program ready for the holiday season?  Read more detail from the National Retail Federation about what’s trending for retailers for the rest of 2014!

Gift Cards Remain A Retail Staple

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

In the gift card industry we know gift cards are awesome. Gift cards are flexible for recipients, easy for gift givers and ensure that the end recipient gets the gift they ultimately want. Now, the consumer public is showing that they agree with us. A recent survey by the Retail Gift Card Association shows that over two thirds of the U.S. population plans to buy gift cards through the spring and summer gift period. Here are a few other highlights from the RGCA survey.

  • 100% of survey respondents have used a gift card in the last year, with 77% having given one.
  • 23% of Father’s Day gift cards are bought from home improvement stores, the largest category for that holiday.
  • 44% of respondents indicated that their average value per gift card is $25. It is enough to be generous, without breaking the bank.

Gift cards are a fleible gift for dads, grads teachers and newlyweds. Almost all spring and summer gifts end up in the hands of hard-to-buy for populations. With the diversity of options for gifts, everything from AutoZone to The Limited, The Cheesecake Factory to Crutchfield gift givers can give gift buyers what they seek. This flexibility is popular with consumers, but also provides stability which is even more popular with retailers.

For more information on gift cards or the RGCA survey check out this article in Incentive Magazine.

The Power of Gift Cards Keeps on Giving

Monday, May 12th, 2014

cardsAlthough we all know that gift cards are nothing new, it’s also clear that they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Much of their stable market has to do with the new digital trends and shifts happening within the gift card industry. With these shifts, comes a change in consumer perception of gift cards as well. Gift cards are a way for retailers to appeal to their consumers, making loyal shoppers out of many of their customers through gift card reward programs.

But gift cards have also remained popular as purchases for, well, gifts. Much of this is due to convenience, especially with the growth of digital e-cards, which make it simple to purchase and send quickly and without waiting in line.

For those retailers  looking to increase their gift card sales, however, they may have to offer a little something extra along with them. According to a new survey, 17 percent of consumers won’t buy a gift card until they see a promotion of some sort happening along side it, and 23 percent take promotions into consideration when deciding where to buy their gift cards between competing retailers.

But as anyone in retail or the gift card industry knows, no matter how the technology or promotions change, gift cards will always give customers an incentive to visit your store, a gift that’s priceless.

Statistics are courtesy of Incentive — read the full article here.

Summertime Employee Motivation

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

The weather is getting warmer and employees minds are starting to wander to that summer vacation to the beach or the lake. Springtime is the perfect time to devise a way to keep employees focused and motivated from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Variety is the name of the game with employee motivation, the key to success is finding a reward that everyone likes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Gift Cards: Gift cards offer a variety of options and allow an employee to choose their ultimate gift. Everything from AutoZone to The Limited is available and gives employees access to the ultimate variety of end rewards.
  • Travel Rewards: Motivating employees with the trip to the beach or the lake supports your employees’ work/life balance and keeps them motivated to work towards a long term goal.
  • Health and Wellness: Encouraging health and wellness is a win/win situation. For employees it provides an outlet either within or surrounding the work day to pause and get outside and enjoy the nice weather. Whether it is a walk at lunch or a post-work running club encouraging employees to enjoy the outside can benefit employers too. Healthy employees are more productive and lower healthcare costs.

The nice weather and kids being out of school can hinder productivity and allow minds to wander. Make a plan this spring to keep your employees on track and motivated towards common goals. For more information on how to keep employees motivated all summer head over to Employee Benefits News.

Key Shifts in the Gift Card Industry

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Trends in the gift card industry are changing. Many of the shifts are due to new technology and advances in the digital world. Some are based on pure convenience. From social media to e-gift cards, here are some of the largest gift card trends right now:

A Change in Channel

Where users buy their gift cards is changing in a big way. In only one year, in-person gift card sales have decreased by 10 percent, from 61 to 51 percent of all card sales. Online purchases, on the other hand, grew by 10 percent, which leads us to believe that those 10 percent who are no longer buying their gift cards in person are now buying them online.

Social Media Gift Cards

Although still on the low end, this new way to buy and use gift cards is gaining momentum. You may see these card offerings on Facebook when it’s your friend’s birthday, or even when you visit a retailer’s page who’s very tapped in to the social world. There are now several opportunities to both buy and redeem gift cards directly through social platforms, such as Facebook. Now, over eight percent of gift card purchasing is done through social media.

E-Gift Cards Grow

E-gift cards are definitely one of the fastest growing trends in the card industry. In just one year, the amount of people who bought e-gift cards grew by 15 percent, from 21 to 36 percent. The growth of this trend makes sense, what with the ease and convenience of digital gift cards. Plus, more and more retailers are now offering these as an option.

Gift Card Apps

There is now new technology that allows users to store their gift cards in their phone via app, taking the idea of digital gift cards to a whole new level.

Photo courtesy of First Data

Photo courtesy of First Data

For more information and data about shifts in the gift card industry, view this report by First Data.

Using Gift Cards to Prompt Consumer Behavior

Friday, April 4th, 2014

thGift cards are a great incentive to get employees to perform a certain behavior at a certain time, aligning your customers to advance your business goals. A great example of gift card use for mutual consumer and retailer benefit is currently being displayed by Microsoft with relation to the phase out of Windows XP. Microsoft will cease providing support and updates for the operating system next week, so the software giant is providing gift cards to any consumers who purchases a laptop running Windows 8.1 and can prove they previously had a computer running Windows XP. The gift card is good for laptops over $599 and also include a limited amount of tech support.

Windows needs consumers to phase out use of Windows XP to prevent security issues for their customers. And if you’re running a computer with Windows XP, chances are you could use a new laptop. The leverage gift cards provide solve both issues, while still offering consumers a choice in which product they upgrade to and giving them a wide time range to take advantage of the offer. How could you use gift cards to leverage your consumers’ behavior?

For more information on the Microsoft offer or to learn how to use gift cards to prompt consumer behavior check out this article from Incentive Magazine.

The Buzz About Gift Cards

Monday, January 13th, 2014

In 2013, $118 billion were loaded onto gift cards in the U.S, up almost 8% from 2012. This spending is segmented to cover open-loop cards, restaurants, retail, egifting and miscellaneous categories like BMW and Spa Envy.

I can see first-hand the popularity of gift cards as I have about 3 in my wallet waiting to be spent.

Check out the infograhic below, taken from CEB TowerGroup’s annual gift card report, and see the evolution of gift cards, as well as some of the challenges and opportunities to come.

CEB TowerGroup   2013 Gift Cards Report Infographic

Holiday 2013: Gift Cards Top Shopping Lists

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Gift cards were at the top of shoppers’ lists again in 2013, and while we are still waiting on total evaluation of the 2013 holiday season there are some stand-out data points from NRF’s initial holiday survey in October. Gift card spending was up again, with consumers averaging $45.16 per card, up from $43.75 last year. Men were forecast to be bigger spenders  than women, averaging $171.35 vs. $155.42 respectively.

Gift cards’ continued popularity lies in the 43.1% of consumers who think it is more meaningful to allow the gift recipient to choose their own gift. 25.3% of consumers still find gift cards too impersonal, but the former group hold the largest share of the buying power. Gift card popularity looks to be a big part of the holiday mix, and doesn’t seem to be at risk of losing popularity in 2014.

For more information on gift cards’ holiday popularity check out this article from the NRF.

2013 Key Holiday Gift Card Trends

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) recently released their Holiday Gift Card Trend Tracker Survey results, and there are some great notes for our retail and merchant clients, and for our B2B gift card customers as well.

How are retailers approaching this year’s news that consumers will spend less during the holidays  this year than last? The RGCA states, “…despite the tight wallets, there is a silver lining for many retailers: retail gift cards.” They found in their survey that 73% of consumers will spend less this holiday shopping season, while 74% will buy and give at least one, and as many as five, gift cards as gifts.

GCP’s customers, B2B gift card buyers, purchase gift cards in bulk and can also be pleased with these trends. Whatever consumers are doing, B2B buyers will want to be aware of and follow suit.

Key Trends for Retail Gift Cards graphic

 

Whether you are a retailer looking for the latest gift card trends
or a B2B gift card buyer, you’ll want to
check out the RGCA’s Full White Paper and Report.

 

GiftCard Partners U.S. Survey on Gift Card Usage On-Demand Webcast

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Please join GiftCard Partners (GCP) as we present results from a U.S. poll we commissioned with Shapiro Research to gain a pulse on gift card usage featuring Melina Balboni, vice president marketing and business development, GCP. Attendees will learn about:

  • Incidence and frequency of gift card receipt and redemption
  • New insight on how gift cards motivate store visits and purchases
  • Gift cards acquired through B2B channels, and
  • The answer to the all-important question: do gift cards generate incremental business for merchants?