The 19th Annual U.S. Prepaid Consumer Insights Survey from Fiserv found that, during the pandemic, digital gift cards saw an uptick in popularity, with almost 25% of consumers purchasing more digital gift cards than physical ones. Despite this market growth, consumers still place more worth in the tangible nature of physical gift cards, which are preferred by more than 50% of consumers.
Conducted in December 2021, the Fiserv survey also identified key consumer trends heading into 2022.
Consumers like the purchasing freedoms that come with receiving gift cards, so much so that nearly half prefer gift cards over traditional gifts. In fact, the study found that almost 80% of consumers feel satisfied when gifted a gift card. And 30% agree gift cards allow them to explore stores/brands they wouldn’t otherwise consider shopping at.
For many consumers, the thought of the gift is more important than how it looks, as consumers put little value in gift card designs. Specifically, 73% said they would still purchase a gift card even if they didn’t like the design and 50% wouldn’t opt for a traditional gift based on bad design choices.
While the card design is not important to consumers, the packaging is, as 56% agree a more attractive gift card carrier design would eliminate the need to purchase a separate greeting card to accompany the gift card. However, consumers are only interested in improved packaging if it doesn’t increase costs, as 55% of consumers said they wouldn’t be persuaded to spend more on gift cards for personalization options like gift wrap or a personalized message, photo, video or design.
Mobile gift card awareness is growing among consumers, who are using their mobile devices to purchase, receive, and store gift cards. Over half of those surveyed are aware they can use a mobile app to store a gift card, up from 25% in 2019.
When consumers receive a gift card, they tuck it away for safekeeping, with 64% saying they store gift cards in a place with other gift cards and 33% saying they load gift cards into a mobile or digital wallet.
Of those using digital wallets, nearly half turn to Apple Pay.
While COVID has found a way to impact many aspects of daily life, gift cards remain untouched as most consumers noted little difference in their gift card purchasing and spending habits over the last 2 years. This finding is likely due to the rise of digital purchasing and delivery. With more options available to buy digital gift cards during potential lockdowns and send them through contactless options, the gift card market remained steady during an economy where many were struggling.
Click here to see more findings from the 19th Annual U.S. Prepaid Consumer Insights Survey from Fiserv
The 19th Annual U.S. Prepaid Consumer Insights Survey from Fiserv explores the impact of digital adoption on U.S. consumers as they increasingly use gift cards to integrate with mobile apps, earn loyalty points, support small businesses, and even communicate value to employees. Over 1,000 U.S. consumers participated in the survey, conducted in December 2021, covering all age groups (18 and older), regions and genders. The margin of error on the study is +/- 3%.