Retail Gift Card Association Forecasts Big Gift Card Sales This Spring and Summer Season
Biannual shopper survey reveals shoppers’ preferences for giving, receiving, redeeming, and exchanging gift cards
According to @TheRGCA, more than 70% of shoppers will be giving #giftcards this spring and summer Tweet
PR Newswire, WASHINGTON D.C., May 19, 2015
More than 70% of shoppers will be giving gift cards this spring and summer during the assortment of gift-giving holidays that are approaching, including graduations, Father’s Day, and weddings. New research from the Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) also confirms that the gifts remain popular with recipients as well, with 95% of consumers hoping to receive gift cards this spring and summer season.
The Association surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers on their use of gift cards and habits for giving and receiving the cards. The survey also explored shoppers’ preferences for physical gift cards versus newer gifting options like electronic gift cards (e-gift cards), which can be redeemed online or via a mobile device using a virtual code.
RGCA’s key findings include:
- Gift cards’ popularity continues to grow: Just last year, two thirds of shoppers planned to buy gift cards during the spring and summer gift season, and that number has grown to more than 70% this year. Additionally, 82% of shoppers plan to give the same or more gift cards this spring and summer gifting season versus last year’s. The most popular spring and summer occasions for giving gift cards include birthdays (55%), graduations (21%), Father’s Day (16%), and weddings (12%).
- Omnichannel flexibility is key: In tandem with the growing consumer demand for omnichannel connectivity across all facets of retail, 80% of gift givers want their recipients to have the option of redeeming gift cards online or in person, and 87% of recipients want to be able to redeem via either channel as they choose.
- Awareness of e-gift cards is growing: As more shoppers receive e-gift cards, the awareness of this type of gift is growing. 27% of gift recipients have now received e-gift cards, a 5% increase from last holiday season. The top reasons shoppers want to give e-gift cards include when the giver needs the gift to get there right away (32%), when giving to younger people who live a digital lifestyle (28%), or to avoid shopping in crowds (18%). 40% of shoppers would consider buying them as gifts this spring and summer.
- Physical gift cards still reign supreme: Most shoppers (56%) plan to give physical gift cards exclusively, and the most common denomination is between $25 and $50. Reasons why physical gift cards remain preferred include wanting to give a physical or packaged gift, when the recipient doesn’t have a smart phone and because the gift giver simply prefers physical gift cards to e-gifts.
- All gift cards are not created equal: The most popular types of gift cards this spring and summer for givers and recipients alike include those to restaurants (47%), department stores (30 %) and online marketplaces such as Amazon (29%).
- Consumers are creative with unused gift cards: When consumers receive gift cards to stores where they do not typically shop, 52% will try to find something to buy there anyway, and 42% will “regift” the card to someone else. An alternative and emerging trend, 64% of shoppers would be open to using exchange websites to exchange gift cards they received and did not want to use (but only 6% have used those services to date).
“Large-scale retail trends, like movement towards omnichannel and increasing awareness of digital offerings, continue to be reflected in consumers’ use of gift cards,” said Timm Walsh, RGCA Chairman of the Board. “And our biannual research has confirmed again that shoppers still consider gift cards to be safe, preferred gift choices. This spring and summer season should bring increased sales of this favored gift product.”
The RGCA consumer gift card study was conducted via online survey in March of 2015 with more than 1,000 adult respondents. The sample was representative of the adult U.S. population in terms of education, income, and gender.
About The Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA)
The Retail Gift Card Association is the trade association that represents the closed-loop gift category. The Association’s mission is to protect, promote and enhance the use of retail gift cards. All RGCA members abide by a Code of Principles that supports consumer-friendly policies for the purchase and redemption of closed-loop gift cards. RGCA’s membership is comprised of retailers from all sectors and including restaurants, general merchandise, apparel, sporting and leisure, and non-store retailers. For more information, visit us at www.theRGCA.org.