Do you provide online gift cards for your online shop? If not, it may be something you want to consider. CashStar released the results of an interesting survey about pre-holiday online shopping and gift cards.
The survey indicated that more consumers are going online to purchase gift cards, and not just plastic gift cards for the physical world, but electronic gift-cards that can be delivered through email.
The survey found that 68 percent of online shoppers agree that buying a gift card online that can be sent via e-mail is more convenient than having plastic cards shipped to the gift card recipient. 80 percent of online shoppers indicated that if their favorite store or restaurant offered a personalized online gift card on their website, they would be more likely to purchase an online gift card from that retailer.
In fact personalization is a big draw of the online gift card, according to CashStar’s findings. People often discourage themselves from buying gift cards as gifts, because they can feel impersonal. These findings suggest that online gift-cards can go a long way in curbing that notion.
Half of all respondents said they have decided against giving gift cards in the past because they were not personal enough. Eighty five percent of online shoppers who are planning to give gift cards this holiday season expressed interest in purchasing personalized online cards that can be sent via e-mail. Seventy percent reported that the ability to personalize a gift card is of importance to them.
There is a reason beyond messaging that online gift cards can actually prove to be more personalized gifts. Think about this. Traditionally gift cards are mostly given for well-known big-brand franchises. Sure, there are plenty of small business gift cards/certificates out there in the real world, but if a consumer looks for an online gift card for an online business, there are just simply more options, which can be narrowed down to any niche that the recipient happens to be interested, hence making for a more personalized gift.
For example, if the recipient lives in Small Town, KY, they may not have access to a brick and mortar store that would really appeal to a particular interest. There are a lot more options online, because location doesn’t necessarily factor into the equation.
Some additional findings from CashStar’s survey include:
– Print-at-home is becoming increasingly popular. Survey respondents print the following at home: coupons (70%), boarding passes (48%), concert/movie tickets (30%) and gift cards (14%).
– Online shoppers interested in Ã¢â‚¬ËœgreenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ alternatives. More than half (56%) of respondents said they are more likely to purchase online gift cards because they are better for the environment than petroleum-based plastic cards.
– Gift cards remain popular choice this holiday. A third of consumers plan to do more of their holiday shopping online than they did in 2008 and 40 percent plan to give gift cards (of that number, 70 percent plan to give between two and five gift cards this year).
– Siblings and friends top gift card recipient list, while restaurants top gift card category. Online shoppers revealed that their top gift card recipients are siblings (48%) and friends (45%). Restaurants topped the gift card category list with 59 percent of online shoppers planning to give restaurant gift cards. General retail and consumer electronics were close behind with 56 percent and 35 percent respectively.
Do you offer online gift cards? If not, what is stopping you?