The pandemic rocked the economy, forcing consumers and companies to adjust their habits. As the dust settles on one of the most disruptive times in modern history, inflation, tech sector layoffs, and tense geopolitical conditions still loom over the economy. Retailers are looking for ways to lure shoppers back to stores, and the gift card could be a powerful tool.
The 20th Annual Prepaid Consumer Insights Survey from Fiserv sheds light on the changing nature of gift cards in today’s economic environment. Conducted in November 2022, the study explores the continued impact of inflation on U.S. consumers as they increasingly use gift cards to stretch their spending, communicate value to employees, and even support corporate social initiatives.
Inflationary pressures have altered people’s gift card purchases. Overall, 56% of U.S. consumers purchased the same amount or more gift cards in 2022. This was a decline from 73% of consumers who bought the same amount or more in 2021.
Digital gift card purchases also dipped exponentially, especially compared to pre-pandemic times. In 2022, 59% of consumers purchased the same amount or more compared to the previous year, a significant drop from 86% who answered similarly in 2019.
Making employees feel valued can go a long way, and many companies are turning to gift cards to show their appreciation. In fact, 60% of employees say they have received a gift card as an incentive from their employer this year, while 85% believe gift cards are an appropriate business gift.
Rewarding employees positively impacts company morale in a couple of crucial ways. Nearly one-third say incentives and reward motivates them to be more productive at work, one-quarter say rewards are a big factor when evaluating employers and nearly one-in-four say rewards would motivate them to stay with a particular employer.
Another secret ingredient that can be used to attract gift card buyers is a pinch of altruism. Shoppers are interested in spending money with companies that are working to make the world a better place. In fact, 52% of shoppers indicate they would be more motivated to buy from a retailer if a portion of the spend went to charity. The same percentage of consumers say they would likely spend more with a merchant that is already supporting a charity with which they align.
Click here to see more findings from the 20th Annual Prepaid Consumer Insights Survey from Fiserv.
The 20th Annual Prepaid Consumer Insights Survey from Fiserv explores the continued impact of inflation on U.S. consumers as they increasingly use gift cards to stretch their spending, communicate value to employees, and even support corporate social initiatives. Over 1,000 U.S. consumers participated in the study, conducted in November 2022, covering all age groups (18 and older), regions, and genders. The margin of error on the study is +/- 3%.