Last-Minute Shoppers Love Gift Cards

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 21 Dec, 2015

Last-minute holiday shoppers love gift cards according to a recent survey from CashStar.

According to the annual survey of U.S. online shoppers, 61 percent of online holiday shoppers knew as early as Dec. 1 that they were going to purchase gift cards this season. Despite knowing this, nearly 70 percent of shoppers admitted they would wait until the last minute to purchase the gift cards.

It is important to note that the National Retail Federation (NRF) has found that gift cards are the most requested gift item for the last nine years. That said, there is a need to offer consumers a better way to store and manage these plastic cards. For instance, CashStar data shows that 40 percent of online shoppers have lost plastic gift cards in the past, while 56 percent have expressed interest in storing gift card value on their mobile phone so their card is always with them. 

"This data reinforces the importance of delivering rich, engaging and useful experiences for both the senders and the recipients of gift cards," said CashStar President and CEO Ben Kaplan. "Even at the last minute, digital gifting allows givers to create highly personalized gifts with photos, messages and video. People who receive gift cards - both plastic and digital - now have more options than ever for storing their card value on their smartphones in mobile wallets, and in 2016 we expect more retailers to adopt this functionality."

Despite the growing need to offer a digital solution for gift cards, online retailers still have time to capitalize on traditional gift cards by promoting this gift option on social media and email. In fact, the data shows that residents of the Northeast and millennials are the most likely to wait until 1-2 days before the holiday to purchase gift cards.