RSR Research’s Annual Benchmark Study on Digital Gifting Identifies Best Practices and Recognizes Leaders Across the Industry

CashStar Clients Sephora, Starbucks, The Home Depot and Dunkin’ Donuts Top the Digital Gifting Rankings

RSR 2016 Digital Gifting Benchmark StudyRSR Research today published its sixth digital gifting benchmark study, “Digital Gift Cards In 2016: Where Omni-Channel Strategy Meets Customer Expectations,” which ranks the consumer-facing digital gifting experiences of 100 of the nation’s top retailers, restaurants and – for the first time – airlines. In addition to focusing on the importance of mobile, this year’s study includes new evaluation criteria like omni-channel payments, bulk buying and the ability to purchase cards with credit card loyalty program points.

With a possible score of 66 total points across 22 criteria, the organizations that scored highest in this year’s evaluation are:

  1. Sephora (55 points)
  2. Starbucks (50.5 points)
  3. The Home Depot (46.5 points)
  4. Dunkin’ Donuts (44.5 points)
  5. Amazon (43 points)

“We are pleased to see that merchants are investing more in digital gifting and striving to improve the experiences they provide to consumers,” said CashStar President and CEO Ben Kaplan. “Furthermore, we are delighted to know that our clients are so well represented in the study, and that the power of the CashStar platform is yielding great results for clients’ gift card programs.”

Sephora achieved top marks this year due primarily to consistently excelling across all three major categories of criteria: discoverability, purchase experience and recipient experience.

“Sephora is honored to be ranked top once again in the RSR Benchmark study,” said Lisa Kueffel, vice president of Client Experience at Sephora. “Gift cards are a key element of our digital strategy focused on delivering excellent omni-channel experiences to our clients. Working in partnership with CashStar has helped us to grow our program and achieve our goals.”

Of the 100 merchants evaluated, 81 offered digital gift cards. The criteria RSR Research uses for evaluation evolve every year – just as retailers’ capabilities (and needs) evolve. RSR updates criteria to highlight differentiating capabilities, rather than the features that have become industry standards.

“Consumers are increasingly engaging with retailers through digital channels first, creating a demand for the retailer to be where the customer is,” said Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR Research. “Retailers need the capabilities to handle all the things a customer wants from them when they are online and on mobile, and that includes gift cards. We’ve learned over the years just how complex digital gifting is on the desktop. This year leaders excelled at mobile. However, too many of those evaluated are continuing to struggle with mobile optimization of their programs.”

The full study includes rankings for all 81 retailers, restaurants and airlines evaluated. Specifics about what went right and what went wrong in the buyer and recipient experiences, as well as actionable advice for strengthening gift card programs are available in the study, which can be downloaded from the CashStar Resource Center.

About CashStar
CashStar, the industry-leading provider of prepaid commerce solutions, enables the world’s top retailers and restaurants to grow and innovate in the rapidly evolving retail environment. CashStar provides best-in-class capabilities, revenue-optimizing risk management and a client success model based on aligned growth, to optimize digital gifting and prepaid commerce experiences. CashStar powers more than 300 leading brands worldwide including Best Buy, Brookstone, Coach, Crate & Barrel, Dell, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gap, lululemon athletica, Nine West, Office Depot, Petco, Pottery Barn, QVC, Sephora, Staples, Starbucks, The Cheesecake Factory, The Home Depot, Ulta Beauty and Williams-Sonoma. To learn more, please visit, follow @CashStar or e-mail

Keri Bertolino
fama PR