InComm Study Highlights Latest Gift Card Purchasing Trends
ATLANTA — Nearly nine in 10 customers (89 percent) have purchased two or more gift cards online or through mobile means annually, according to new research from InComm, a provider of prepaid products and transaction services.
Survey respondents answered questions about their purchasing habits and intentions for purchasing gift cards from websites and mobile devices, as well as gift card purchasing specifically during the 2015 holiday season.
Highlights from the results include:
- 94 percent intended to purchase two or more gift cards by online or mobile during the holiday season, and 76 percent agreed they were likely to purchase at least one digital gift card
- 84 percent of respondents between 18-25 agreed they were likely to purchase at least one digital gift card this holiday season
- Of those who intended to purchase gift cards from online websites or mobile websites/apps during the holiday season, nearly 23 percent planned to purchase five or more gift cards
- Nearly 90 percent of respondents between 18-25 agree they are more interested in purchasing digital gift cards now than they were two to three years ago
- 66 percent of respondents between 26-35 prefer to have a digital gift card scanned from their phone rather than an email printout
- 71 percent of total respondents and 81 percent of those between 18-25 are interested in storing and using gift cards on their phones
- 96 percent of total respondents agree they're interested in storing digital gift cards on their phone for self-use
- Nearly 41 percent of those who have purchased gift cards from online websites or mobile websites/apps purchase five to 10 cards annually
"Retailers can drive online sales as well as brick-and-mortar traffic by offering consumers both physical and digital cards and ensuring a retail process that accounts for the redemption of prepaid cards through mobile means," stated Mike Fletcher, general manager, digital solutions, InComm. "This study demonstrates the continued consumer adoption of digital prepaid cards across all age demographics. It also shows the significant increase in digital prepaid being employed by consumers for self-use. Retailers need to keep these consumer trends in mind in order to continue providing consistent excellence in customer service and support across all channels."
Of those who bought a gift card from a website or via mobile website/app, 29 percent purchased a physical gift card, while 32 percent purchased a digital gift card. Thirty-nine percent have purchased both. A digital gift card is defined as a card that is emailed to the recipient, and a physical gift card is defined as a traditional gift card that is shipped to the recipient.
The decision whether to purchase a digital gift card or a physical gift card depends on who the recipient is, said more than one-third of respondents.
"While the percentage of consumers purchasing only physical cards went down, given the increased percentage of those who have purchased both physical and digital cards in comparison to results received last year, digital gift cards continue to gain in popularity," Fletcher said.
Eighty-four percent of respondents said they participate in at least one loyalty program. Gift cards were the most popular method of redeeming loyalty program points, at 41 percent. When asked how they would prefer to receive a reward for making a purchase, 52 percent said they would choose a prepaid Visa card and 40 percent would choose a gift card.
Full statistics from the InComm survey are available here.