The Home Depot and Sephora Take Top Spots in Digital Gifting Benchmark Study

By Anne Klein, Senior Director of Customer Success

There are so many award competitions in the payments industry that honor the best gift card and prepaid programs. But there is only one piece of research that independently takes a deep dive into the digital gifting programs of the top retailers and restaurants in the U.S. through the lens of both purchase and recipient experiences of the consumer. That is the RSR Digital Gifting Benchmark, which was first introduced in 2010. In my last post, “Digital Gift Cards Key Indicator of Omni-Channel Alignment,” I wrote about the key themes of this year’s research, which – as the report title suggests – centered on the idea that digital gift cards are an excellent barometer of a company’s omni-channel success.

In this post, I want to highlight the top two scorers in this year’s report and share what these retailers are doing that makes them stand out from any other retailer. Each year, as organizations’ gifting programs become more sophisticated, some features become table stakes, and the analysts adjust the evaluation criteria to focus on differentiating experiences. This year, RSR focused on mobile for both buyers and recipients, including mobile-optimized purchases and the ability for recipients to save gift cards to their mobile wallet of choice.

The top two scorers in the 2015 benchmark – The Home Depot and Sephora – racked up their points in very different ways. The top spot went to The Home Depot (51.5 points), which scored most strongly in consistency: cards are easy to find, can be personalized and expectations for delivery times were set and met. Consistency also included demonstration of mobile integration, including a mobile site and app that leverage the phone’s touch capabilities and integration with mobile wallets. Sephora (50.5 points) scored highest in mobile innovation. The beauty retailer provided tight mobile app integration, including features like the ability to access the buyer’s contacts and rich media, and recipients’ ability to add to mobile wallet.

At 2pm Eastern today, I will join RSR’s Nikki Baird and Steve Rowen to share more insight into the digital gift card programs of the world’s leading retail and restaurant brands. In addition to looking at the top retail performers in the digital gifting space like The Home Depot and Sephora, we’ll also share which retailers have the opportunity to improve their programs.

If you’re interested in gaining tips on avoiding breakdowns in the omni-channel experience, register for the webinar here.

A full copy of RSR’s 2015 Digital Gifting Benchmark, “Digital Gift Cards: A Key Indicator of Omni-Channel Alignment” is available for download on the CashStar site.


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