We’ve spent some time over the last few weeks talking about gift card purchasing and gifting as the holiday shopping season heats up. However, it’s important to keep a secondary focus on trends going forward. Based on First Data’s latest Consumer Insights Survey, the future of gift cards is virtual. Here are a few key stats from the survey.
- 33% of consumers (that’s 3 in 10) are purchasing more e-gift or virtual gift cards.
- Online gift card purchases are up 8% from 2013.
- 13% of survey respondents have used an app or social media site like Facebook to give virtual gift cards.
This survey indicates, as many consumer motivators do, that gift cards’ virtual and mobile potential takes the convenience factor of a gift card to the next level. The growth in virtual gift cards and virtual gifting could also be an early indication that consumers are adopting virtual and mobile payment technologies more frequently in their regular shopping routines. Gift cards can be an entry into using credit and debit cards, as gift cards present no risk to personal finance. It allows consumers to test the security of mobile and virtual payments without connecting any personal information. Once consumers become comfortable they can incorporate their own payment methods into the online and mobile systems. As the holiday season progresses we will see if this continues to trend.
Stay tuned, and let us know in the comments if you’re shifting gift cards or payments to your mobile phone or wallet.