New research shows consumers relying on mobile devices or computers to store their personal data, the use of egifts—digital gift cards delivered to recipients via email, social media or text message and that are redeemable in-store, online or via mobile devices—is growing.
The research by Blackhawk Network, a pioneer of prepaid gift cards, payment tools and rewards delivered via a robust and convenient network, found the perception of egift is evolving beyond the initial view that egift is strictly for personal use and not appropriate to gift to others.
According to Blackhawk’s research, egifts continue to gain in popularity as the shoppers surveyed use them for both self-use and gifting. While plastic gift cards remain a top gift-giving choice, with 89% of consumers surveyed reporting they have purchased at least one plastic gift card in the last year, 71% of those individuals have also purchased one or more egifts during the same timeframe. Nearly half of consumers surveyed (42%) have purchased egifts for both gifts and self-use.
According to the survey:
◦ For self-use: The majority (78%) of respondents reported they would purchase an egift for self-use if it were offered at a discount, a finding of particular interest for retailers wishing to grow egift adoption.
◦ For gift-giving: Thirty percent of consumers surveyed have purchased an egift specifically with the recipient in mind because they knew the recipient would like it, however speed and ease of delivery were the most important factors influencing their purchase. In fact, the majority of respondents (91%) agreed that egifts are “quick and easy” to buy. The top features that make the consumers surveyed more likely to gift egifts according to the research, include:
▪ Delivery in minutes (45%)
▪ Delivery notification (39%)
▪ Ability to include a digital greeting card (28%)
Givers and receivers have conflicting perceptions of egifts, according to the survey. Respondents said that a common reason they do not purchase an egift to give as a gift is because they feel it can be perceived as impersonal.
However, respondents who have received egifts feel quite the contrary. Of the consumers surveyed who have received at least one egift in the past 12 months, 93% said they were satisfied to receive an egift and 85% felt that it was a personal gesture and selected just for him/her.
The top reasons why they felt it was personal, according to the survey, include:
◦ The egift was for a brand, store or other merchant that they like (62%)
◦ The egift allowed them to choose their own gift (55%)
◦ It arrived on-time (33%)
◦ It had a personal message (29%)
Ninety percent of respondents who have received egifts also thought they were easy to redeem because:
◦ It was easy to use online (71%)
◦ It was “just like other gift cards” (51%)
◦ The recipient didn’t have to worry about losing it (48%)
◦ The recipient can use them without having a plastic card (48%)
◦ The recipient can use in-store (38%)
• Awareness of gift card exchanges—where shoppers can buy or sell pre-owned gift cards—is growing.
According to the survey, 89% of the consumers surveyed stated they were aware of gift card exchange sites, though adoption and usage is still growing. Only 13% of respondents say they have purchased a gift card from an exchange site, yet 78% say they would feel moderately to extremely safe about purchasing a gift card on a gift card exchange site and 48% say they would consider using an exchange service to buy or sell gift cards.
• In addition to self-use, survey respondents also view gift cards purchased from gift card exchanges as a gift-giving option:
◦ Over half of respondents surveyed (62%) would be satisfied with receiving a gift card from an exchange site as a gift.
◦ And, 64% feel it is acceptable to give a gift card purchased through a gift card exchange because the egifts look the same as other gift cards (84%) and because they were purchased at a discount (78%) making the gift-giver look like a good bargain shopper.
Blackhawk Network built its business on pioneering new branded payments products and solutions such as merchant-specific cards, prepaid debit cards and egifts.
For a complete archive of more than 70,000 articles published since 1995 search the CardFlash.com library.