As the holiday shopping season gathers steam, it’s time to look at the forecast for holiday gift card sales. Up, down or stable – we’ve got the news, research and trends to keep you up to date. The Retail Gift Card Association research says gift card trends include: novelty, localization, mobile wallet storage and self-gifting. According to RSR Research, 10% of retailers could not fulfill gift card orders and only 51% allow consumers to choose the gift card amount.
The National Retail Federation reported US e-gift card sales reached $7.1 billion in 2015, up 26%. Retail Gift Card Association said 45% of consumers will spend more than the value of their gift card. LOOP reported 19% of consumers gave music gift cards in the past six months. Centz plans to disrupt the $160 billion gift card industry by allowing consumers to combine all gift cards onto one card.
Domino’s launched plans to give away 37,000 gift cards in a new promotion. Brunswick Police Department will hand out gift cards to the needy during the holiday season thanks to a gift from a local service club. Money reported how a consumer lost $100 on a Target gift card bought through third-party vendor. Buyer beware!
As Gift Card Uses and Applications Evolve, Shopper Demand Remains High
Americans now buy and redeem gift cards across all retail channels, have found new uses for them, and are embracing novel gift card offerings. According to new shopper research from the Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA), consumers are increasingly interested in gift cards to local neighborhood or boutique retailers, incorporating gift card storage into mobile wallets, and buying for self-use. Americans’ affinity for gift cards remains high; roughly three-quarters of U.S. shoppers plan to buy plastic gift cards this year and one-quarter will buy egifts.
This spring, the RGCA surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers on their use of gift cards and their preferences for giving and redeeming cards. The survey also explored shoppers’ willingness to embrace newer options like localized gift cards, integration into mobile wallets, gift card exchanges, and more. Via Benzinga
Inside The Retail Gift Card Fail
In retailing, as a Nobel laureate once wrote (and sort of sang!), “the times they are a-changin” — a sentiment that extends handily to gift cards. No longer confined to being silly (or maybe saccharine) cards tucked into envelopes, gifting can be a quick and painless digital pursuit.
Unless retailers make it hard.
And surprisingly, some retailers are missing the boat when it comes to digital gifting. In a recent study by RSR Research, some merchants proved to have a long way to go when it comes to satisfying consumers looking for a seamless gifting experience. As part of the latest Data Drivers installment, Gerry Gilbert, vice president of product at prepaid solutions firm CashStar, weighed in with Karen Webster on some of the most significant stats from the research. Via pymnts.com
E-Gift Cards Should be a Top Priority for Small Businesses
Finding the perfect gift for someone’s birthday is a difficult task. Tack on a busy schedule, and it becomes almost impossible. There is no shame in admitting that sometimes, it’s easier to grab a gift card and call it a day. According to the National Retail Federation, gift cards have remained the most asked for gift for eight years running.
That may be why in 2015, sales of gift cards in the US hit 130 billion dollars, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year. However, this is just the start, as sales of gift cards are expected to hit 160 billion by the year 2018. The largest increase was in “e-gifts,” which hit 26 percent that year, a whopping 7.1 billion dollars. This rise is expected to also help boost the growth of the payment industry. Via tech.co
US shoppers Love Gift Cards, which Translates to More Revenue for Retailers
Americans love giving and receiving gift cards. They are always in demand and present retailers with significant incremental sales opportunities. This is according to new consumer research from the Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA).
The Association surveyed more than 1,100 US consumers on their use of gift cards, preferences for giving and spending the cards, and willingness to embrace new gifting options like e-codes, which are digital gift cards that can be purchased online or through a mobile app. Via thergca.org
Over Half of Americans Gave the Gift of Music in Past Year, Says LOOP Study
Music remains one of the most popular gifts in the US, with more than half of Americans saying they purchased a music product as a gift over the previous year according to research conducted by LOOP and provided to the Music Business Association for its members. The data comes from a new “Gifting Topliner” that will be released on October 20th via Music Biz Consumer Insights, the interactive, member-exclusive research portal hosted on www.musicbiz.org.
Based on a September 2016 survey of 1,515 U.S. respondents, the Topliner shows that 53% had given a music gift within the previous 12 months, with CDs remaining the most popular gift item. Of those surveyed, over a 12-month period: 26% said they had gifted a CD, 19% said they had gifted MP3/download albums, 19% said they had gifted music gift cards (e.g. iTunes, Spotify vouchers), and 15% said they had gifted concert tickets. Via allaccess.com
Disruptive ‘Crypto’ Startup Centz Eyes $160Bn Gift Cards Market
US-based start-up Centz Inc. has vowed to “disrupt” the global gift card industry at the Money 2020 and CoinAgenda trade shows in Las Vegas, giving consumers control of their gift cards by combining all such card balances into a single lump sum that is denominated in digital currency Centz Gold Bucks (CGB’s).
Through CGB’s consumers will be able to spend their gift card money at will, when they want and wherever gift cards are used. This will be achieved by letting consumers use any gift card money as they would with a ‘fiat’ or traditional currency.
The start-up firm’s patent-pending technologies include a multi-stage security system, which is part of their ‘secret sauce designed to eliminate gift card fraud, and a gift card mobile wallet. By combining these technologies Centz provides consumers what it touts as “control over their gift cards”. Via forbes.com
Domino’s giveaway TODAY: 37,000 gift cards!
Domino’s is giving away over 37,000 gift cards sometime in the very near future.
UPDATE: Domino’s just sent me a text that the giveaway will be TODAY, Monday, 10/24 “around 2:00 pm” but they did not say exactly when. Last time it was sent just before 2 pm so watch your phones closely. As soon as they send the claim link in the text click on it. The faster you are the better the gift card.
Register now to be eligible to win one of the gift cards. The gift cards range in value from $4 up to $100. Via wral.com
Gift Cards: How Companies Like Target Treat Them Like Cash
Earlier this year, I bought a $100 Target gift card through GiftCards.com. I saved it to my Target account online.
Within a couple of days, the card was marked “redeemed” and its value reduced to $0. I did not use the card for a purchase, or for any other reason. I asked Target to help me find the missing money.
Target has told me it would not replace the card because it was offered through Giftcards.com. I realize Target would like to absolve itself of any responsibility for it, but it was accepted to my Target account. Target has relieved me of $100. I am simply seeking an explanation and hope you can help. Via time.com
Police armed with gift cards
It’s not all traffic stops and arresting bad guys for Brunswick’s police officers. On Monday, police got one more tool to be a positive force in the community when Jim Bridge of the Brunswick Masonic Lodge presented the department with 200 Hannaford gift cards, each worth $10.
The cards will be distributed by officers to those in need, or to people whom they see performing good deeds — examples could include a witness who comes forward despite personal difficulties, someone who turns in a lost wallet or a pedestrian using the crosswalk instead of jaywalking. Via timesrecord.com
Black Friday anticipation
Retailers and e-commerce companies are deep in preparations for the November 25 Black Friday sales event. Join us for regular updates on retail and e-commerce strategies and who’s going to challenge Amazon in the weeks ahead.