Gift cards continue as the most popular holiday gift. National Retail Federation (NRF) data shows that six out of 10 consumers would like to receive a gift card and about the same number plan to give gift cards for the holidays. Restaurant gift cards top the list as the most popular, followed by department store, prepaid cards, coffee shop, and entertainment gift cards. And total gift card spending in 2018 was approximately $30 billion.
The ability to capitalize on this demand is just one of the benefits that gift cards offer merchants. Gift cards are a simple and effective way to keep a brand top of mind — when consumers open their wallets, the merchant’s logo is there. Gift cards can be an integral part of a promotional strategy to get some of that Black Friday traffic to return after the holidays. Merchants can offer gift cards as a reward for qualifying purchases, which shoppers can use on a future visit. Furthermore, surveys show that when consumers redeem gift cards, 59 percent of them will spend more than face value.
The Secret to Thriving Gift Card Business
For merchants to see an uptick in revenues and traffic from gift cards, however, they need a gift card solution that gives them the ability to meet shoppers’ expectations. Consumers want to be able to purchase and use gift cards easily and make purchases with them at any location or on any channel. This is especially important during the busy holiday shopping season when no one has time to waste. Consumers also want convenient ways to check their gift card balances and reload cards. Gift card experiences that fall short won’t build traffic, revenues and loyalty for merchants. In fact, they could have the opposite effect.