A 2010 article in HR magazine reviewed e-gift cards(electronic gift cards) and forecast their growth in the incentiveindustry. It focused on the leadingadvantage of e-gift cards as the immediacy of award delivery, and how it is anoverall more positive experience for the person receiving the award. Anotherpossible benefit included reduced costs for gift card fulfillment, labor, andshipping. In 2010, there were only a few retailers testing the waters indigitizing gift cards, with the prospect of many more joining them in the yearsto come.
In 2016, a Prepaid ConsumerInsights study was conducted which surveyed 3,650 consumers, and showed thatgift card use is stronger than ever. Additionally, e-gift cards are quicklygaining popularity, just as the 2010 report had suggested. We recently spoke about the benefits of using gift cards in your incentive program.If your organization is already using gift cards, chances are some of themmight already be mobile.
Why use mobile gift cards?
Data from all three age groups surveyed, whichranged in ages from 18-55 and over, showed that consumers are using e-giftcards more than ever. It’s no surprise that people are busier, and also usingtheir mobile devices more frequently today. Have you ever gotten to the store,only to realize that you left your gift card for that retailer at home on thecounter? Or perhaps you can relate to the dread of coming to the realizationthat you lost a gift card you received in December which you were saving to buynew patio furniture? E-gift cards solve those problems. As long as you haveyour mobile device with you, you need not worry about remembering to grab your giftcard off the counter, or losing it all together. Consumers agree, and the most commonly reported benefits include: convenience,no need to carry around the physical card, and you are less likely to lose thecards. Other benefits include the ability to use apps that store your mobilegift cards in one convenient place, as well as personal notifications via textor email alerting you about gift card balance or other offers from thatspecific retailer.|
Will the trend continue?
Don’t get me wrong… physical giftcards aren’t going anywhere. However, with many factors such as data analysisbeing more readily available, it’s likely that mobile gift card use willcontinue to grow. Additional 2017 research from Incentive Magazine, specifically regarding holiday shopping,showed the continued rise of digital gifting, and even concluded: “We are sure to see this trend carry through to influence therewards and incentives space even further in the year to come.” The expectationof instant gratification, as well as the ever-growing online shopping platform,will continue to fuel the growth of the mobile gift card. They got it rightseven years ago, so it’s looking like the trend will continue for theforeseeable future.