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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 22, 2015

Survey: Gift cards liked but purchased late

When it comes to buying gift cards for people on holiday lists, many shoppers like them, but expect the cards to be purchased late in the season. That's the takeaway from new CashStar data which indicates nearly 70% of shoppers plan to wait until the last minute to purchase gift cards for friends or family.

by Kristina Knight

"This data reinforces the importance of delivering rich, engaging and useful experiences for both the senders and the recipients of gift cards," said CashStar President and CEO Ben Kaplan. "Even at the last minute, digital gifting allows givers to create highly personalized gifts with photos, messages and video. People who receive gift cards - both plastic and digital - now have more options than ever for storing their card value on their smartphones in mobile wallets, and in 2016 we expect more retailers to adopt this functionality."

CashStar's survey also found that nearly half (40%) say they have lost plastic gift cards and 56% 'are interested' in being able to store their cards on their mobile devices, similar to how mobile payment options are stored. Other interesting findings from the report include:

• Western US residents are most interested in mobile gift card options (59%)
• 22% are interested in digital gift card options
• 74% of 18-24 year olds are interested in mobile storage options for gift cards
• Northeastern US residents are most likely to wait until December 23 or 24 to buy gift cards

Meanwhile, research from Forbes Consulting, a division of Copernicus, indicates shoppers have higher anxiety this time of year. According to Forbes most (83%) want to give gifts 'that no one else would think of', which leads to some putting off shopping and then becoming stressed out about it.

"We were surprised at the increased level of anxiety felt by survey respondents this year, especially given the relatively better health of the economy compared to previous years," says Dr. Jeremy Pincus, Senior Vice President at Forbes Consulting Group. "It's possible that renewed fears of terrorism may be showing up as a growing need for feelings of security in the context of holiday shopping."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: CashStar, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, Forbes Consulting Group, gift card trends, gift cards

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