National Survey Indicates Strong Gift Card Buys This Holiday Season

Friday 5 December 2003 16:53 CET | News

Sixty-eight percent of Americans have now either given or received a gift card and apparently intend to continue using gift cards heavily this holiday season, according to a national consumer survey commissioned by Stored Value Systems, Inc. (SVS).

A random telephone survey conducted last month concluded that 87 percent of adults who have given or received gift cards plan to buy between four and 15 retail gift cards this holiday season with an average amount of $38 per card. Additionally, these holiday shoppers expect to buy a total average of $183 in gift cards this year. Heavy gift card users (those who purchased eleven or more cards in the last year) are expected to buy an average of $332. The primary reason expressed for purchasing a gift card is the desire for the recipient to select what they want (44 percent), followed by 35 percent who just didnt know what to get for someone or didnt know preferences in color, size, etc. Of those respondents who said they had never purchased a gift card (32 percent), 22 percent said they were likely to do so this holiday season. And those who receive gift cards appear to be enthusiastic about the gift. Fifty-three percent say they spend more than the cards value with the retailer, making up the difference with their own money. Fifteen percent of gift card recipients become loyal customers of a store theyve never shopped at before, as a result of receiving a gift card. Although the day after Christmas is typically the busiest day for gift card redemptions, winter holidays are just the second most popular occasions for consumer gift card purchases (66 percent of all gift card purchases). Birthdays take top billing: 80 percent of all gift card purchases. In addition to tracking anticipated 2003 holiday demand, SVS studied general gift card buying and spending habits as a primary focus of the study, which surveyed U.S. adults who had either purchased or received a gift card for a special occasion or who planned to in the coming holiday season. Other key findings from the survey include: -- Men and women who buy gift cards have statistically similar buying patterns. There were no significant age differences in gift card usage noted, though the most likely gift card buyers are between the ages of 18 and 29. -- Heavy gift card users (those who purchase 11 or more a year) were significantly more likely to identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino. -- Five percent have purchased between one and four gift cards in the past year; 30 percent have purchased between five and ten cards; 14 percent have purchased more than eleven. -- 65 percent of all gift card purchases are planned; 28 percent are impulse buys. -- 15 percent regularly buy gift cards for themselves. -- Almost 50 percent of gift card users load between $20-29 on cards they give to others. The second most popular gift card load was $50+. The 30-question survey was conducted by an independent marketing research firm, Norcross, Ga.-based The Marketing Workshop, Inc. The survey has a sampling error of +/- 6 points and a confidence level of 95 percent.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
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