Gift cards are an easy, fun way to give to friends and family – and an important way for merchants to add value, drive value and increase customer loyalty to their business. New research the from Fiserv spotlights consumers' evolving preferences for buying, giving and using gift cards. May 2021 Gift Card Gauge from Fiserv found that 69 percent of consumers consider a gift card's design when making a purchase. Forty percent said they have made an impulse gift card purchase simply because they like the design. "Consumers have come to expect personalization as a standard of service," said Tom Niedbalski, Vice President, Gift Solutions, Fiserv. "The desire for personalization and a growing reliance on gift cards for milestone events creates an opportunity to shift perception from last-minute gifts to the gift of choice."
One of the main benefits of gift cards for consumers is convenience and ease of use. They can be purchased quickly and easily, and can be given as gifts to friends and family without having to worry about finding the perfect item or size. For businesses, gift cards can be a great way to drive sales and increase customer loyalty. They can be used as a marketing tool to attract new customers, and they can also be used as a reward or incentive for existing customers. One in three consumers rely on gift cards as their go-to gift for milestone events. Consumers are most likely to purchase gift cards for birthdays (78 percent), graduations (67 percent), weddings (52 percent), anniversaries (46 percent) and births (38 percent). Sixty-seven percent give three or more gift cards each year to mark those events.
Additional findings from the research, conducted in May 2021, include:
- Consumers rely on customization options to personalize gift cards, including specific designs (63 percent), custom messages (54 percent) and custom photos or images (46 percent)
- When giving a gift card, 56 percent of consumers add a greeting card
- Sustainable gift card materials are preferred by 55 percent of consumers
- Consumers are interested in several innovations, including customized packaging (48 percent), different sizes or shapes (44 percent) and custom textures (36 percent)
Branding, branding and branding! What business doesn't want their name out in the forefront of their consumer every time they open their wallet. A happy customer is more likely to purchase a gift card from your business knowing you will provide the same level of service and superior shopping experience to the the gift card receiver. Another option is to offer special promotions or discounts for gift card purchases, or even partner with other businesses to offer bundled deals. Additionally, you can leverage social media and email marketing to promote your gift card offerings.
Gift cards is that they can help businesses to increase their revenue. Unlike cash, gift cards cannot be easily lost or forgotten, and they are also less likely to be used for impulse purchases. This means that they are more likely to be used at a later date, which can help to increase the overall revenue of a business and supplement cash flow.
Overall, gift cards are a cost-effective and convenient way for businesses to drive sales and increase customer loyalty. They're a versatile marketing tool that can be used for a variety of purposes, from promoting new products and services to encouraging repeat business. It’s a low-cost investment that can generate a high ROI.