Shoppers overwhelmingly prefer physical gift cards over digital despite the rise of both online and mobile shopping, even among younger shoppers.
A new report by Stored Value Solutions reveals that nearly 40 percent of consumers ages 18 to 35 expressed a preference for digital gift cards, but 64 percent of all shoppers surveyed had not yet bought or received a digital or mobile gift card.
Millennials were more likely to have purchased or received a digital card and one-third of males cited a preference for digital.
The reasons behind the trends are varied and the study even cited physical proximity as influencing which medium is selected: Face-to-face gift exchanges prompt the purchase of physical cards while digital is more likely to be selected for gifting in absentia.
Consumers are also more likely to choose digital cards for restaurants than retailers.
The research suggests that adoption can be accelerated by making users, both givers and receivers, more comfortable with the form factor. Storage is a problem for many consumers who struggle with whether to print the item, keep it in an email, or utilize a digital wallet or app.
More than 60 percent of consumers said they would prefer email reminders to use the cards, creating another opportunity for retailers in terms of follow-up offers and relationship building. In fact, digital cards provide opportunities for retailers to further communicate via email with both the sender and recipient: 75 percent of senders wanted to know if their gift had been received and 36 percent said they wanted alerts when it has been used.
The use of digital gift cards is on the rise. Last year, 67 percent of gift cards sold were digital, according to InComm.
-See this press release from Stored Value Solutions
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