Announcements

70 Percent of Online Shoppers Say eGift Card Offerings Impact Brand Loyalty

More than half of online shoppers (54%) are planning gift card purchases this holiday season and nearly a quarter will wait until the week leading into the holiday to make their purchase. Today’s release of the 2010 Pre-Holiday Online Shopper Gift Card Survey revealed that 70 percent of online shoppers would shop a different brand if a retailer or restaurant does not offer an eGift card option for these last-minute purchases. The survey of U.S. online shoppers was conducted in November 2010 and was sponsored by the digital gifting and incentives company CashStar, Inc.

“The first billion dollar Cyber Monday signifies a true milestone for e-commerce and its role as the channel for holiday giving. As the holidays approach, eGift cards extend online sales for retailers by a minimum of three days, as they are not dependent on shipping deadlines and cut-off dates,” commented CashStar’s CEO David Stone. “Equally important, eGift cards also increase brand satisfaction and customer loyalty. In fact, an overwhelming 83 percent of survey respondents said if their favorite retailer offered a personalized eGift card option, it would improve their image of that retailer. During this most critical sales season, retailers and restaurants without an eGift card offering are doing themselves a major disservice.”

Personalization, Convenience & Incentives Continue to be Key Variables for Success
Unlike their plastic predecessors, eGift cards are lauded for their ability to be highly customized with personal photos and messages for each recipient. This high degree of personalization is proving to be an important factor for the holidays with more than half of survey respondents reporting that they have decided against purchasing a traditional gift card in the past because they felt it was not a personal enough gift. There is also strong interest in advanced personalization features such as video, with more than a third (34%) of respondents expressing interest in including a short video when sending an eGift card.

In addition to personalization, year-over-year the survey has found that convenience and incentives are important drivers of gift card sales. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of consumers agree that buying personalized digital gift cards online is more convenient than buying plastic cards in a store. And an overwhelming 89% said they would be more likely to purchase a gift card if they were given an incentive, such as a “give one, get one” offer.

Other Survey Findings

  • More consumers are planning to shop online this year (41%) compared to last year (33%)
  • While restaurants remained the most popular gift card category for holiday giving, year over year, the highest-growing categories included:
    • Movie/Event gift cards – from 19% in 2009 to 29% in 2010
    • Restaurants – from 59% in 2009 to 67% in 2010
    • General Retail – from 56% in 2009 to 64% in 2010
  • Sixty percent of respondents have used a mobile device to redeem coupons and a fifth expressed interest in purchasing digital gift cards from their mobile phones. This interest, combined with the convenience of being able to purchase a last-minute gift from a mobile phone, indicates that mobile gift cards are an emerging opportunity that should not be overlooked by retailers.

Editor’s Note: To receive a full copy of the 2010 Pre-Holiday Online Shopper Gift Card Survey Research Brief or related images, please contact Keri Bertolino at .

About the 2010 Pre-Holiday Online Shopper Gift Card Survey
The 2010 Pre-Holiday Online Shopper Gift Card Survey is a national survey designed to provide insight into the holiday gifting behavior of online shoppers. The survey was conducted in November 2010 via Zoomerang, an online survey services provider, and is based on 842 respondents (45% male, 55% female). The survey is sponsored by Portland, Maine-based CashStar, Inc. A Research Brief providing detailed information on the findings is available at the CashStar website at www.cashstar.com.

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 www.cashstar.com or e-mail .

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