According to last year’s Prepaid Consumer Insights Study conducted by payment technology and services provider First Data, gift cards are more popular than ever, with 81% of the study’s 2,371 respondents reporting their intent to purchase an equal or greater number of plastic gift cards than the year previous. Custom gift cards for small business are no longer an option, they are a must. Here’s why:
First Data’s study also revealed that consumers reported spending 11.2% more over the amount of their gift cards than the previous year’s study, and that 51% of respondents said they were likely to visit a store more often after receiving a gift card for that merchant.
The Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) reported earlier this year in their biannual shopper survey that 95% of consumers would specifically like to receive gift cards during the spring and summer for occasions like graduation (21%), birthdays (55%), Father’s Day (16%), and weddings (12%). That’s right now, and we haven’t even gotten to our busiest gift-giving season! The RGCA study also sheds light on why most shoppers prefer plastic gift cards over their dramatically less popular virtual counterpart. These include a desire to give something more tangible, as well as a packaged gift.
Another study from business consultant CEB revealed that while the the prevelance of plastic gift cards was projected to grow this year to $118 billion, the forecasted market share for e-gift cards is a disappointing $6 billion, missing analysts expectations. This combined with the fact that independent retailers typically lack the resources to accept e-gift cards, makes a strong case for the growth of custom gift cards for small business.
How can investing in a gift program benefit you?
If the First Data study is any indication, a gift card program can help merchants in a lot of ways, including driving more foot traffic, increasing gift card purchases and dollar amounts when tied to an incentive like loyalty points or bonus gift cards, and capturing market share by making gift cards reloadable. The latter is a tactic employed successfully by companies like Starbucks. Consumers who reload gift cards may do so for a variety of reasons, including earning rewards points and discounts, as well as to help with household budgeting.
If you’re looking for ways to get started with custom gift cards for your small business, we offer a number of solutions. If you’ve already implemented a gift card program, and you’re looking to control costs, Plastek Cards can manufacture gift cards for your business at a fraction of the cost you may be paying through your POS service provider.