Consumer demand for gift cards, both physical and digital, continues to rise. According to the Gift Cards – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics report, the global gift card market is forecast to reach $1.4 trillion(USD) by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent over the analysis period (2020 to 2026). More specifically, digital gifting presents a real opportunity for merchants. A recently released report from Incisiv revealed that 67 percent of customers prefer instant/digital gifting.
To help retailers and brands capitalize on this rising consumer demand for gift cards, NAPCO Research, in conjunction with Blackhawk Network, recently completed its annual comprehensive review of the state of merchants’ gift card offerings. The 2022 review and subsequent report included an assessment of retailers’ e-commerce/digital, mobile, and in-store gift card offerings, as well as tips for merchants on how to improve the consumer gift card purchase and recipient experience. The full report can be downloaded here.
Here are just a few of the tips included within the report:
- Ensure that gift cards are easily discovered across all selling channels (in-store, digital, and app). You can’t sell gift cards if consumers can’t find them. Make it as easy as it is to find other products you sell. This includes adding gift cards to your homepage (ideally top navigation) and optimizing site search results for “gift cards” and other variations of that search term.
- Offer flexibility within your gift card program, including types of cards (physical and digital); cross-channel purchasing (e.g., the ability to buy physical cards online, digital cards in-store); selling of own brand’s gift cards as well as multibrand cards; multiple payment and delivery options; denomination flexibility (i.e., consumer can choose the amount of card value); and advanced personalization features (e.g., personal messages, ability to upload photos, different faceplate designs).
- Optimize the gift card recipient experience. Make it easy for the recipient to add their gift card to a digital wallet as well as redeem it, including in multiple channels; check their balance; add more money to their card; and access their gift card securely.
- Offer flexible purchase options for the growing number of consumers buying gift cards for personal use. For example, sell digital cards in-store to capture self-users that often prefer that delivery method. Also, for consumers indicating self-use for the purchase of digital cards, limit the data collected (e.g., eliminate all of the recipient fields) to make the process easier.
For more tips like these, as well as a detailed look at the omnicommerce global gift card market, including a scoring breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of the merchants within each of the three markets assessed (United States, United Kingdom, Australia), download the full report here.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.
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