Nearly 70% of Online Shoppers are Last-Minute Gift Card Buyers

By Lauren Chadwick, Senior Director, Marketing

Last Minute Gift Card Survey

Each holiday season, we commission a survey of online shoppers to get a better understanding of how they are thinking about gift cards. It’s no surprise that this year, many gift card buyers will wait until the last minute to buy gift cards for the holidays. But the survey gave us more insight into these procrastinators.

As of December 1, 61% of our survey respondents said they plan to give gift cards this holiday season. Despite having gift cards on their list, nearly 70% of shoppers admitted that they would wait until the last minute to purchase them.

Last-minute purchases of gift cards present a tremendous opportunity for retailers looking to capture share of wallet in the final days of the critical shopping season. Many of our retail and restaurant clients are running marketing promotions to boost card sales in the last few days. Just think – if holiday gift card sales are projected to reach $25.9 billion (source: NRF) and roughly 70% of online shoppers are waiting until the final days of the season to purchase them, there’s a lot of gift card money on the table this week!

Procrastinators Abound in the Northeast

  • Residents of the Northeast are most likely to wait until 1-2 days before the holiday to purchase their gift cards compared to other regions in the U.S.
  • Northeasterners also the most likely to wait until the holiday itself to purchase gift cards for anyone they may have forgotten

Millennials Most Likely to Stall

  • Generational data revealed that shoppers within the 45-54 year-old age range start their gift card shopping the earliest, while Millennials are the most likely age group to wait until 1-2 days prior to the holiday to purchase gift cards

Holiday Loot for Loved Ones

  • Shoppers that haven’t bought gift cards yet still need to buy them for their friends (37%), children (36%), nieces/nephews (29%), siblings (27%) and parents (24%)

Parents Postpone

  • More than 90% of people with small children in their households still need to purchase their gift cards this holiday season


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