By Lauren Chadwick, Senior Director, Marketing
Congratulations – you made it through the busy holiday season. But, as anyone who works in the retail industry knows, there are still weeks of post-holiday sales, returns and exchanges, and gift card redemptions ahead. While we’re still tallying final numbers, it’s safe to say that gift cards were once again the gift to give and get this season. However, as gift cards grow in popularity, so does the need to offer consumers a way to store and manage them better.
In our annual survey of U.S. online shoppers, 40% admit that they have lost plastic gift cards in the past. So it’s no wonder that more than half of respondents said they would be interested in a way to store gift card value on their mobile phones so their card is always with them and is far less likely to get lost.
- Northeast residents are the most likely to lose their gift cards – 49% compared with 33% of their Southeast counterparts
- Nearly half (48%) of shoppers with small children in their households have lost gift cards
- Those most likely to lose cards are 25-34 year-olds (48%) and 18-24 year-olds (47%), while just 32% of those over 66 years of age have lost gift cards
- Residents of Western states expressed the most interest in mobile options (59%) and also are most interested in receiving digital gift cards versus plastic (22%)
- In addition, younger shoppers are far more interested in storing gift cards on their mobile phones: 74% of 18-24 year-olds vs. just 34% of those age 66 and older
Storing gift cards on mobile phones isn’t limited to digital gifting. Retailers like Sephora and Starbucks offer the ability to convert plastic to digital through their native mobile apps, and soon, consumers will come to expect this capability for all their gift cards – whether through a retailer’s app or a mobile wallet.
For retailers, storing gift card value within their native apps opens enormous marketing opportunities. Using geofencing technology, for example, enables retailers to target shoppers with a gift card balance when they are in or around one of their stores. The retailer can layer on promotions and offers, such as adding $5 to their gift card balance if they shop in the store that day.
When thinking about whether to offer the ability to store gift card balances in your mobile app, consider all the new opportunities it will provide to connect and engage with your shoppers in the moments that matter.