Digital Advantages
December 5, 2023

What Consumers Like About Digital Gift Cards

After well over a decade on the market, InComm Payments’ third-party digital gift cards have become mainstays as versatile options for gift card consumers. Rather than replacing physical cards, they function well as complements for consumers who value digital purchasing, delivery and/or redemption for a variety of purposes. What are the key attributes that draw consumers to digital cards? Keep reading to find out in consumers’ own words!

What Consumers Like About Digital Gift Cards

After well over a decade on the market, InComm Payments’ third-party digital gift cards have become mainstays as versatile options for gift card consumers. Rather than replacing physical cards, they function well as complements for consumers who value digital purchasing, delivery and/or redemption for a variety of purposes. What are the key attributes that draw consumers to digital cards? Keep reading to find out in consumers’ own words!

Gifting From a Distance

“When it’s their birthday or Christmas or some holiday and I’m wanting to get them a gift and we can’t physically be together, then I think a digital gift card would be great.”

I feel a digital gift card would be great for somebody who may not live in the same city as you or you can’t get to their event. You just send it digitally. You send a digital gift card for somewhere to eat or something like that with a message like “Happy birthday!” Basically, a digital gift card is good for somebody that you can’t get to right away or you won’t be in their vicinity.”

Gift-givers love putting the personal touch on their presents. From the wrapping job to the thoughtful selection and the surprise on the recipients’ face, the full experience entails more than just the exchange of an item. However, whether due to travel/distance, time constraints, illnesses or other conflicts, friends and family members can’t always see everyone they want to on every occasion. In these cases, many digital gift card shoppers say the digital experience helps them capture that giving feeling when they can’t be in the same room as their recipient. As for the (digital) gift itself, 68% of holiday shoppers felt digital gift cards were just as thoughtful as any other type of gift.

Whether revealed on a video call or through fun, innovative mobile delivery options, gift-givers can liven up these long-distance connections by syncing the delivery of digital gift cards without relying on the uncertainty of physical mail.

Easy to Find

It would just depend on the circumstance. [If] the physical gift cards weren’t available, I would go with the digital … or if I wanted to send it to somebody right away, it would be easier to do the digital as well …  if I wanted to send it to someone far away and get it there on a timely manner, the digital gift card would be the way to go. It would really just depend on the circumstance.”

While we support our brand partners in maintaining gift card stock, some stores may not carry the brand a shopper wants, or the shopper could run into stock issues or find themselves otherwise unable to locate the card they’re looking for. In any of these situations, a digital gift card option can save the shopper from making an extra trip to a different retailer or chancing on a different gift card that may feel less personal for the recipient.

Easy to Manage

The newer generation and the youth, they’re always on their phone and they find it a whole lot easier to use digital gift cards than to actually go in the store … they can make whatever purchases that they need to make digitally.”

Well, for me, the occasion to purchase a gift card would be somebody’s birthday, Christmas, even New Year’s, and anniversaries I would think, and weddings … [It] makes a perfect gift. You don’t have to worry about the card if people lose the card … you can’t lose the email. You can always send that email again if they don’t get it, so that’s a perfect way to give somebody a gift.”

Over three-quarters of holiday shoppers agree that digital gift cards are easy to send and receive. Beyond that, they’re also easy to keep track of. Consumers who use digital gift cards like that the recipient can store the card on their phone or email until they’re ready to spend it – whether that’s immediately upon opening it or months (or more) down the line. For gift-givers with phone-tethered friends, they know they’re giving a gift card that’s convenient for the recipient to add and redeem within their handheld digital ecosystem.

Last-Minute Gifting

When it comes to digital, you can do it over your phone. You don’t have to go to the store and get it by yourself … That’s very convenient, too, especially if you don’t have time to go to the store and buy it physically. You have all the time to check on your phone for a digital gift card and it’s easier to use and easier to purchase.”

Life is busy, and many consumers have come to rely on e-commerce options to save time. With digital gift cards, there’s no wait for shipping and delivery, which means if a birthday, graduation or other occasion slips their mind, consumers can go online to find a digital gift card for fast, easy purchase and delivery.

Outside of personal gifting, digital gift cards are valued among workplace recognition and customer incentive programs, where the range of choice and engaging delivery methods are great additions to any rewards and incentives portfolio. They’re also an option for self-use gift card shoppers keeping their mobile wallets loaded for budgeting purposes.

As our 2023 Holiday Report indicates, physical gift cards are still very much in demand, especially for consumers who prefer to package them with greeting cards or other gifts. But digital gift cards have found their home among a variety of consumers who value the ease of delivery and redemption, availability, instancy and their ability to foster connections from near and far.

Sources:

InComm Payments │ Consumer Interviews │ July 2022

InComm Payments │ InComm Holiday Report 2023 │ September 2023

Thirsting for more gift card knowledge?
Read about gift cards for gamers or our in-store display expertise.

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