First Data Study Finds Gift Cards Popular, and Virtual Cards Are Growing

by Ben Jackson 0

Shoppers say they plan to keep buying gift cards in 2013,and more of those cards will likely be e-gift cards, First Data Corp. found inits 13th annual PrepaidConsumer Insights Study.

81% of respondents said they intendto purchase the same, or more, plastic gift cards in 2014 with 20% saying theyintend to increase the number of cards. 84% of respondents said they plan topurchase the same or more e-gift cards than last year with 33% said they planto increase the number of purchases.

The company surveyed over 2000 U.S. adults, and publishedthe results along with comparisons to 2013. The results show that technology ischanging the way that people buy cards, but that the cards remain popular. Italso found that people still view gift cards as a license to shop and say theyspend more than the face value of the card and visit the issuers more oftenwhen they have a card from a particular store or restaurant.

Closed-loop gift cards remain a powerful tool for engagingcustomers and driving sales. But as the results of the survey show, issuersneed to have the right mix of channels, technology, and marketing to tap thepotential of their gift card programs.

Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group