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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 27, 2010

RSR Research: Few retailers offering digital gift card options

Looking ahead to the holiday shopping season, a new report indicates that few retailers are offering digital gift card options. Why is this important? In 2009 many consumers logged on to retail websites between December 21 and 24; with so few days for shipping many chose to use digital gift cards.

by Kristina Knight

The report, from CashStar and RSR Research, found that within the Internet Retailer Top 100 only about 50 were offering easy to find/buy digital gift cards heading in to the holiday 2010 shopping season. Among those not offering digi-gift cards or whose digi-gift cards were difficult to find/use were Apple, Urban Outfitters, Best Buy and Gap. Those whose digi-gift card offerings are simple to find and use include American Eagle Outfitters, and Home Depot.

"Gift cards are such an important retail staple, yet many retailers' offerings have not evolved to keep up with the changing needs of today's consumer. We were surprised that gift card offerings were often hard to find, difficult to navigate and lacked follow-through for both the sender and recipient," said Nikki Baird, RSR Research analyst and co-author of the report. "This is an enormous missed opportunity for retailer, especially as we enter the most critical gifting season of the year."

Over the 2010 Father's Day and Mother's Day holidays, CashStar found that digital gift cards were high on the radar of consumer buyers. In fact, many consumers purchased e-gift cards on the holidays. On Father's Day purchases of e-gift cards were higher on the holiday than on the Friday before the holiday according to CashStar, and leading up to the holiday purchases of e-gift cards increased 230%.

These trends are expected to continue through the 2010 holiday shopping season as busy consumers turn to gift card options as last minute gifts.

Tags: 2010 Holiday Shopping, CashStar, digital gift cards, ecommerce, gift cards, online shopping, RSR Research

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