Four out of five consumers’ surveyed plan to purchase gift cards in 2022
Supply chain woes, labor shortages and 40-year-high inflation have led to empty shelves, fewer employees, and higher prices for retailers across all industries. For consumers facing the uncertainty of in-stock physical goods, gift cards are a reliable alternative.
According to the Fiserv’s Q1 2022 Gift Card Gauge, 58% of consumers plan to purchase more gift cards as an alternative to physical products because of inventory shortages, while 46% view gift cards as their go-to alternatives to tangible gifts.
Conducted in February 2022, the Fiserv study assessed the evolving landscape for consumer gift card purchasing.
Gift Card Purchasing Shows No Signs of Slowing Down
Gift cards provide value across the board, with 80% of respondents saying they plan to purchase more gift cards this year. Retailers can expect a similar increase in gift card sales across the medium, with 19% of consumers saying they plan on purchasing more this year, while 16% plan on purchasing more digital gift cards.
One reason for the focus on physical cards is growing concerns around fraud and security. Specifically, only 35% of consumers are bothered by security and fraud issues with physical gift cards, compared to 46% who are concerned about the security of digital cards.
Gift Card Promotions Will Continue to Drive Sales
Consumers love getting a little extra with their purchases. In fact, 62% of consumers said they plan to take advantage of a gift card promotion in 2022.
While any extra incentive will attract more consumer attention, 33% prefer balances added to the card, 28% favor a bonus gift with the purchase of a card and 24% prefer a free item with their purchase.
Regarding how they become aware of these promotions, 35% credit marketing and advertising, while 23% acknowledge in-store point-of-sale marketing as their source. Only 17% knew these promotions were available through proactive merchant communications.
Gift Cards Mark Milestones
No matter the reason for celebrating, milestone events and gift cards go hand in hand for consumers, with 72% noting gift cards are appropriate for such events.
When asked which occasions they are most likely to shell out for gift cards, birthdays topped the list at 57%, followed by graduations at 37%.
With graduation just around the corner, merchants can expect prepaid cards such as American Express and Visa to be top choices, with 20% saying they would purchase these cards. Online-only merchants like Amazon and eBay followed closely behind at 18%, while big-box stores like Walmart and Target came in at 13%.
Mobile is Here to Stay
The growth of digital wallets and tap-to-pay functionalities over the last 2 years will continue as 35% of consumers plan to use their mobile wallets more this year compared to 2021, with another 35% suggesting usage will remain the same.
The reason behind consumers’ preference for digital wallets? More than 60% say digital wallets make credit and gift cards more readily available, and 52% report digital wallets are more convenient since they automatically store common items together.
Click here to see more findings from the Q1 2022 Gift Card Gauge.
Fiserv’s Q1 2022 Gift Card Gauge is a survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers aged 18 and older, conducted to help merchants better understand industry trends, and how consumers use gift cards. The margin of error for this Gauge is +/- 3%.