Sydney, Dec 7: You are not considered a lazy gifted person if it is gift cards that you give to your pals this holiday season.
In fact, it is what most people want is it gives the recipient the freedom of choice to choose what they desire.
Not only are consumers more willing to buy gift cards, they are also spending more on them with Australian shoppers planning to spend 30 per cent more on gift cards this year, with an average spend of $206 per person, pushing the value of their gift card spend to just over 50 per cent of their total gift purchases.
New research from Blackhawk Network has highlighted a growing trend towards a preference for consumers to give gift cards as presents rather than physical gifts.
According to its global 2021 Holiday Shopping Forecast that surveyed 11,000 consumers around the globe with 1000 respondents from across Australia, 81 per cent of Australian consumers plan to give their loved ones a gift card this Christmas instead of a physical gift.
COVID has had an impact, but the appeal of gift cards has been steadily rising over the past few years with 41 per cent of Australian consumers planning to buy more gift cards this year, compared with previous years.
Driving this trend is the freedom of choice that a gift card offers with 44 per cent of Australian respondents noting that as their prime motivator for giving gift cards and 70 per cent finding the process of returning or exchanging gifts annoying.
The ease of use with digital cards and digital wallets also appeals with the research revealing that Australian shoppers have become far more inclined to use contactless digital payment methods for purchasing or redeeming gift cards noting that 85 percent of respondents found using a digital wallet made shopping easier.
Furthermore, 69 per cent shop more frequently at stores that accept digital payments and 54 per cent are likely to spend more if they can use digital payments.
While 83 per cent of consumers plan to purchase gift cards that can be used at multiple retailers or brands, the top five product categories that Australian shoppers will buy gift cards for this year are: fashion (49 per cent), electronics and toys (47 per cent), department stores (46 per cent), health and beauty (44 per cent) and entertainment (41 per cent).
Blackhawk Network Senior Marketing Director, APAC Marc Cheah said the research clearly showed that many consumers are now not only more comfortable buying gift cards as presents, they are actively seeking to do so.
“We’ve seen this trend growing over the past few years with people recognising that a gift card offers more choice, reduces the need for people to exchange unwanted gifts and is an option that works extremely well in the ever-growing online shopping and digital payment environment,” Cheah said.
“As a result, we’ve seen gift card offerings significantly expand with more and more brands getting on board to give consumers the choice and convenience they demand.”
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