Study: Gift cards remain popular, consumers eager for mobile storage

Originally published by Bangor Daily News.

Gift cards are a popular retail consumer focus this holiday season but they’re also the most likely last-minute purchase before the big day.

Gift cards are a popular last-minute purchase for many consumers.A new CashStar study reveals that 61 percent of online holiday shoppers have gift cards on their shopping list even before December arrives, but 70 percent will be running to a store at the last minute to grab them off the shelf and cross them off the list.

The study notes the increasing consumer love for gift cards requires retailers to provide consumers with improved card management options, such as storing the card on mobile devices. Of those polled by CashStar, 40 percent of online consumers admit to losing plastic gift cards and 56 percent would like the option to store card value on smartphones or in a mobile wallet to avoid potential loss.

“This data reinforces the importance of delivering rich, engaging and useful experiences for both the senders and the recipients of gift cards,” CashStar President and CEO Ben Kaplan said in an announcement. “People who receive gift cards—both plastic and digital—now have more options than ever for storing their card value on their smartphones in mobile wallets, and in 2016 we expect more retailers to adopt this functionality.”