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Survey: Gift cards are the present of choice for consumers this season


Washington, D.C. – Summertime is almost here, and consumers are planning to give the easy and convenient present of a gift card. More than 70% of shoppers will be giving gift cards this spring and summer during the assortment of gift-giving holidays that are approaching, including graduations, Father’s Day, and weddings.

New research from the Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) also confirms that the gifts remain popular with recipients as well, with 95% of consumers hoping to receive gift cards this spring and summer season.

The most popular spring and summer occasions for giving gift cards include birthdays (55%), graduations (21%), Father’s Day (16%), and weddings (12%). In tandem with the growing consumer demand for omnichannel connectivity across all facets of retail, 80% of gift givers want their recipients to have the option of redeeming gift cards online or in person, and 87% of recipients want to be able to redeem via either channel as they choose.

As more shoppers receive e-gift cards, the awareness of this type of gift is growing. 27% of gift recipients have now received e-gift cards, a 5% increase from last holiday season. The top reasons shoppers want to give e-gift cards include when the giver needs the gift to get there right away (32%), when giving to younger people who live a digital lifestyle (28%), or to avoid shopping in crowds (18%). 40% of shoppers would consider buying them as gifts this spring and summer.

Most shoppers (56%) plan to give physical gift cards exclusively, and the most common denomination is between $25 and $50. The most popular types of gift cards include those to restaurants (47%), department stores (30 %) and online marketplaces such as Amazon (29%).

When consumers receive gift cards to stores where they do not typically shop, 52% will try to find something to buy there anyway, and 42% will “regift” the card to someone else. An alternative and emerging trend, 64% of shoppers would be open to using exchange websites to exchange gift cards they received and did not want to use (but only 6% have used those services to date).

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