The Rise of gift card popularity in the ecommerce era

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Pravin Kamble

Covid-19 impact on gift cards had eCommerce retailers making bank. Only the Russia-Ukraine war disrupted the expedited recovery after the pandemic. The global gift card market size is expected to reach $405.17 billion in 2023. This is a telling sign of online gift card popularity. A busy shopper knows the value that gift cards in online shopping offer. It lets the recipient buy what they truly want, and that reduces the stress on the person who is tasked with buying the gift.

The appeal of eCommerce gift cards keeps on growing because of an interesting factor attached to them– loyalty points or incentives. The gift card purchasing habits might hinge on several factors. But the prospect of convincing customers with rewards makes it easy to convince them to open their purse strings. Retailers can convert the average one-time customer into visiting again. The options of gift card security in eCommerce implies that businesses don’t have to worry about compromising their data.

Gift Card Market Insights:

Let’s look at some interesting online shopping gift card trends.

  • The global gift card market value is expected to grow to $510 billion in 2025
  • Gift card trends in USA suggest that it is increasing at an annual rate of 19.12% between 2023 and 2027
  • eCommerce gift card sales are expected to see a 23% increase by 2025
  • About a third of surveyed customers in the United States said that they would purchase gift cards or vouchers as holiday presents in 2023
  • According to Google Trends, Google searches for gift cards spike during the holiday season
  • A DealDrop survey says that 17% of Americans would want a gift card for the holidays
  • More than 22% of Americans are ready to pay more than $3 to personalize their gift cards
The above gift card usage statistics indicate that online shoppers are more than happy to have them thrusted in their hands. It has the ability to drive loyalty and engagement and helps you get close to the customer.

There was a time when gift cards were an urban-only phenomenon, but the rise of eCommerce and fast internet has completely changed this. Millennial’s gift card preferences are also well-known. In fact, it is one of those rare marketing tools that people of all ages love.

Gift cards are not a simple gifting tool anymore, it offers rewards, incentives, and an excellent shopping experience. The latest gift card redemption trends indicate that they are a pivotal part of the eCommerce era– let’s look at some of the reasons behind it.

It Promotes Customer Loyalty:

Having customers who are loyal to your brand is one of the most important things that businesses can have. It is a direct reflection of how successful your brand. Customers who are loyal are easy to upsell and cross-sell. They will be the ones tom-tomming about the latest product you launched to everyone who will listen. Even though they love the digital gift card benefits that you offer, that’s not the only reason they buy from you regularly. But guess what? Gift cards promote loyalty. They make the customer buy again from your eCommerce store, instead of letting you use a cash credit or go to a competitor.

It Offers Convenience:

One of the biggest reasons for the growth of gift cards in the eCommerce era is because of the convenience they offer. You can redeem it at an online store or at the physical store. It can be purchased over the counter or sitting in the comforts of your home. Any retailer can adapt them to their offering and there are flexible options as well, according to your business goals. Even the gift receiver finds it extremely convenient since they can redeem it at their own convenience. There is no pressure for both the gift receiver, the customer, or even the e-commerce store.

Personalization Capabilities:

An important trend in the gift card market is the ubiquity in demand for personalized gift cards. Customers are ready to pay for gift cards that are personalized. Customized designs, personalized messages, high-resolution pictures, QR codes, logos, shape elements, etc., are often requested by businesses. Businesses are leveraging personalization and branding, all of which adds value to the gifting experience.

More Than Just a Card With Value:

Gift cards have gone beyond the value of their simple utility as a gifting tool. Brands have started using them as a major part of their digital marketing efforts. Even returns and refunds are offered in the form of gift cards because it is convenient for the user. The store also gets another opportunity to provide a delightful experience for the customer since they will return to use up the gift card.

Want to reward your loyal customers? Offer gift cards.

Want to increase cash flow? Sell more gift cards.

Are you looking to incentivize channel partners? Offer free gift cards.

Would you like to reach out to a new set of customers? Sell more gift cards during the holidays.

Want customers of complementary businesses? Partner with other brands who have the same target audience but sell different products. Engage in a quid pro quo agreement.

Do you want customers to have your brand souvenir? Create an exquisite design for your physical gift card that stuns your customers into getting it for themselves and their loved ones.

Would you like to sell a slow-moving product? You can do that too by offering a gift card for the particular product?

Look at the number of use cases that extends beyond gift cards being a gifting tool. You are only limited by your imagination of the gift card marketing strategies that you use.

They Boost Your Revenue:

Gift cards increase your revenue not just when customers purchase your gift card vouchers. When the gift card recipient returns to your store, they end up spending more than the card’s value. Almost 47% of US adults have unused gift cards, vouchers, or store credits, according to Bankrate. This indiciates that customers don’t spend the value of the gift card. The same gift card industry analysis report says that the US has $23 billion in unused gift cards.

Integration With Loyalty Programs:

Another reason why gift cards have picked up momentum is because eCommerce stores are integrating them with loyalty programs. This helps drive customer engagement and retention. When businesses offer rewards and incentives in the form of gift cards, they result in more purchases, increase brand value, and strengthens trust.

Wrapping Up:

The digital gift card growth is an expected outcome, thanks to the rise of eCommerce. Even though a segment of customers use it for self-consumption, a majority of the ones sold are for loved ones. Gift cards are a sentiment during days of celebrations, special days, and festivals. There is no doubt that gift cards are here to stay. The sheer convenience and comfort offered by digital gift cards will add to their value. E-gift card adoption trends indicate that it will become one of the main ways of shopping for the future.

Businesses should invest in the right mobile gift card apps to take advantage of the gift card opportunity. Ecommerce gift card growth factors can be 10xed with the help of a platform like 99minds. It can be your biggest asset to engage, acquire, and retain customers. Get in touch with us to understand how we can help integrate gift cards into your store.