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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 20, 2012

80% plan to purchase gift cards this season

For the fifth year running gift cards will be the number one present this Christmas, according to new figures released by the National Retail Federation, with over 80% of shoppers buying at least one.

by Helen Leggatt

NRF-logo.jpgThe growth in gift card giving continues with over 80% of shoppers in the U.S. intending to buy at least one this year, according to the NRF's Holiday Consumer Spending survey. Just short of $30 billion will be spent on gift cards this year, an average of $43.75 per card, up from $27.8 billion last year.

"Retailers are pulling out all the stops this year to make their gift cards personal, convenient and desirable," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Savvy shoppers know they can purchase a much appreciated gift card with ease either in store, online or through their mobile device, and give their loved ones the option to buy something they really want or need."

There's no doubt that flexibility of use and convenient formats, such as mobile, are the main drivers of gift card gifting. This year, more people than ever intend to purchase a gift card that can be used with an online merchant (11.2%) and coffee shops (18.1%), while a third of shoppers (33.3%) will give a gift card for a restaurant.

As well as buying gift cards, 6 out of 10 Americans said they'd like to receive them at Christmas.

According to a survey by Weber State University marketing professors Erhard Valentin and Anthony Allred, there is a disconnect between the attitudes of those giving gift cards and the recipients. For example, while almost half of respondents like giving a gift card to use at a restaurant, just 27% want to receive one and while 33% like to receive gift cards to use in a department store, just 21% were likely to purchase one as a gift.

Tags: Christmas, consumer survey, gift cards, seasonal shopping, shopping insights

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