2009 Holiday Results: Retailers See Digital Gift Card Sales Surge as Consumers Look for Last Minute Gifts

CashStar, the digital gifting and incentives platform company, today shared online gift card sales trends from the 2009 holiday season. Based on aggregated data from tens of thousands of customers making millions of dollars worth of purchases across CashStar’s digital gifting and incentives platform, online gift cards proved to be a profitable last minute sales tool for retailers. In fact, Christmas Eve was the highest selling day of the year, with an eye-catching 39 percent being purchased after 6pm Eastern.

Online gift card sales increased more than twelve-fold (1129 percent) between Black Friday (November 27) and Christmas Eve. Sales increased 682 percent between the first week of December and Christmas Eve, and December 18 through Christmas Day represented the top eight sales days of the year, with a combined 40 percent of the sales for the year.

“The Container Store introduced eGift Cards just in time for the 2009 holiday season,” said Margery Hurlbut, customer solutions director at The Container Store. “We were thrilled to see a tremendous spike in gift card sales during the week leading up to Christmas because customers could have the eGift Cards e-mailed immediately. That week, historically, has been a valley for online sales of traditional gift cards due to shipping deadlines. It was definitely a great solution for the last minute holiday shoppers.”

Other Notable Statistics from 2009 Holiday Season

  • Cyber Monday: Of those consumers who purchased online gift cards on Cyber Monday, 15 percent chose to send the card at a later date.
  • Top Selling Hours: The most active selling times were consistent throughout the year: Noon Eastern was the highest selling hour of the day with 8 percent of daily sales; the highest number of transactions occurred between 11am – 5pm (44 percent of sales).
  • Face Value: For the week of Christmas, the average face value of CashStar gift cards was 69 percent higher than the industry average for specialty retail gift cards and 151 percent higher for general gift cards (compared to sales info provided by First Data). This trend represents a demographic of affluent, Internet-savvy female buyers in the 31-50+ age range, who are more likely to purchase digital gift cards.
  • Future Send: Nearly one in five purchasers (18 percent) opted to send online gift cards at a later date
  • Personalization: CashStar retailers offer shoppers the most enhanced gifting experience available online. This year, more than 97 percent of all CashStar-powered gift cards carried a personalized message attached. And, on average, more than one in ten consumers uploaded their own photo or image as their gift card design for an increased level of personalization.

“We’re thrilled with the results of our first major holiday sales season. Our retailers had tremendous success with the platform and shopper satisfaction surveys came back with glowing reviews of the service,” commented CashStar CEO David Stone. “We also tested new marketing and social media efforts that, combined with our clients’ own promotional efforts, created major sales spikes and helped attract new customers.”

About CashStar, Inc. CashStar is the preferred digital gifting and incentives partner for retailers nationwide. These retail brands leverage CashStar to easily and securely integrate digital gifting strategies to increase sales and customer loyalty. CashStar offers consumers an unmatched personalized eGift experience via email, mobile and social channels. It is the only company to successfully combine an on-demand B2C and B2B digital gifting and incentives platform with innovative multichannel marketing strategies. More than 250 brands are successfully partnering with CashStar to drive incremental sales, increase retention and boost profitability including Best Buy, Chili’s Grill & Bar, CVS/pharmacy, Gap, Pottery Barn, QVC, Staples, Starbucks, T.G.I. Friday’s, The Home Depot, and Williams-Sonoma. To learn more about how CashStar is constantly innovating the way businesses deliver personalized gifting experiences to consumers and partners in the digital world, please visit cashstar.com or e-mail sales@cashstar.com.


All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.