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Five Key Trends Driving Gift Card Success

The retail landscape continues its rapid evolution, as mobile technologies and social media disrupt existing ways of doing business. Gift cards are no exception to this ongoing transformation. They remain popular with both consumers and retailers, but how they are purchased, distributed and redeemed is changing – creating exciting opportunities for merchants to acquire new customers and drive repeat business.

To gain a better understanding of gift card trends, we commissioned Applied Research & Consulting LLC to conduct and study of U.S. consumers. The research sought to measure the percentage of consumers using gift cards, as well as reveal insights into gift card attitudes and behavior. The study also tracked changes in usage and consumer perceptions by providing comparions with similar research done in 2012.

Here are five insights we learned from our study:

  • The channels where consumers are purchasing gift cards are shifting.
  • Gift cards continue to be an effective way to bring in new customers and encourage repeat visits.
  • Consumers are rapidly adopting online gifting.
  • While many consumers are unfamiliar with multipacks, there is still an opportunity for growth.
  • Mobile gift card apps have great potential to increase gift card usage.

Over the course of several weeks, we’ll take a closer look at these consumer insights that emerged from the study.

Given the proven effectiveness of gift cards in attracting new customers, building brand awareness and driving incremental revenue, it’s no surprise that most merchants have implemented a prepaid program. To maximize the success of their programs, however, they must continue to innovate and evolve in order to keep pace with consumer trends and new technologies.