Digital Gifting Evolves

While there’s a lot of buzz surround eGifting, the majority of gift cards given in the B2B space are traditional plastic ones. “Only about 2 percent of incentives are being delivered as virtual gift cards, even though 44 percent say that gift cards act as the best incentive tool in their portfolios,” says Michael Hursta, vice president of Denver-based First Data Prepaid Solutions. “Even though there’s a certain demand to use e-gifts as an incentive tool, there are still some barriers to keeping it as successful as it could or should be.”
Adam Van Witzenburg, president and CEO of Elgin, IL-based National Gift Card, notes similar usage numbers for e-gift cards. “E-cards in the incentive world make up about 10 to 12 percent of our business … I think there can be challenges with information technology, and it takes time to integrate; there’s a cost involved.”
At Corona, CA-based USA Connect, CEO Lee Nydell is seeing slightly more demand for e-gifting solutions in the B2B space. “We’ve seen a significant shift in consumers requesting e-gift cards versus traditional plastic.” He says that in 2011, 18 percent of its consumers chose an e-gift card over a traditional plastic card; in 2013, that number grew to 43 percent. “Digital gifting represents a convergence of social networking, prepaid transactions, and mobile commerce.”