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Most Retailers Fail to Capitalize on Sharp Increase in Consumer Demand for Digital Gift Cards, Finds New Research from Incisiv, Sponsored by GiftNow

Digital gift card sales have increased more than 25%, yet fewer than 10% of retailers have the technology to deliver the requisite gifting experiences, transparency, and flexibility

Incisiv announced the release of its 2nd Annual digital maturity benchmark report, 2022 Gift Card Program Index, sponsored by GiftNow, a Synchrony solution. The report highlights 18 retailers out of 75 benchmarked that offer the most mature gift card program experiences for shoppers, as well as recommendations for retailers to improve digital gift card capabilities.

While some gift card programs have evolved in the past year, legacy technology has limited the ability of many retailers to gain a competitive advantage and deliver customer value. According to Incisiv’s research, 67% of customers prefer instant gifting; however, only 12% of retailers currently offer gift card delivery via text message (SMS).

“The gift card industry is still outpacing the broader retail industry in terms of growth,” said David Weinand, Incisiv’s Chief Customer Officer. “However, to truly optimize gift card revenue, retailers need to look at the latest in gift card technology offerings. Personal and flexible are what consumers and businesses are looking for in gift card purchases, so retailers need to upgrade their offerings to win.”

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“However, to truly optimize gift card revenue, retailers need to look at the latest in gift card technology offerings. Personal and flexible are what consumers and businesses are looking for in gift card purchases, so retailers need to upgrade their offerings to win.”

Additional key findings of the research include:

  • 52% of customers indicated they select retailer gift cards based on relevant online promotions, but only 33% of retailers promote gift cards on their homepage.
  • Only 16% of retailers surveyed offer the ability for shoppers to add gift cards to their mobile wallets.
  • Home improvement retailers have the most mature functional capabilities for gift card ordering and delivery, offering more flexible delivery options and expedited fulfillment capabilities.
  • 80% of shoppers prefer some form of gift card personalization, with 30% of shoppers willing to pay an additional $3 to personalize their gift cards.
  • 59% of employers prefer digital gift cards over other incentives to reward employees, indicating an opportunity for retailers to drive sales with corporate gifting programs.

“With consumer demand for digital gift cards increasing rapidly, retailers have a tremendous opportunity to grow their share of revenue by enhancing their program’s experience, transparency and flexibility,” said Pari Raccah, SVP and General Manager at GiftNow. “Retailers should assess their current gift card program technology to ensure they can meet consumers’ expectations for a fun, personalized, and streamlined experience that stands out from the competition.”

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Benchmark Report Highlights

The Incisiv Gift Card Program Index research evaluated 75 retailers, highlighting 18 Digital Maturity Leaders within and across retail segments – apparel, department stores, home improvement and specialty retailers. The Leaders, including Belk, Best Buy, Ulta, and Williams Sonoma, are the benchmark for gift card program capabilities. Each offers differentiated capabilities and experiences and are functionally mature across most of the four assessment areas:

  • Research & Discovery: Visibility, link to gift card pages, reviews and details
  • Ordering & Fulfillment: Purchase process, payment options and fulfillment modes
  • Purchase Experience: Personalization and access to various categories of gift cards
  • Recipient Experience: Customer support and communication on redemption

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