December 5, 2013, 1:01 PM

Digital gift cards attract holiday shoppers

A survey shows consumers want options when buying gift cards online.

Lead Photo

Most online shoppers, 77%, will buy digital gift cards this holiday season, and most of those consumers expect to buy multiple cards, according to a new survey from InComm.

The company, which sells transaction services along with gift and debit card products, based its findings on an online survey of 500 U.S. consumers conducted in November.  Of those online shoppers planning to buy digital gift cards during the ongoing holiday shopping season, 48% expect to buy two or three cards, and 44% said they would likely purchase more than three. That leaves just 8% who plan to buy only one card.

The holiday popularity of the item could be due to the ease and speed with which consumers can purchase them, the report suggests. Of those surveyed, the most popular reason for purchasing digital gift cards is their instant delivery, with 62% of those planning to buy those electronically delivered gifts items citing that as a reason for choosing this kind of gift card.  

InComm also says that 75% of respondents likely will buy at least one digital gift card in 2014. Nearly 70% of respondents said they are more interested in purchasing digital gift cards than they were two to three years ago.

Physical cards shipped to consumers continue to be a popular choice as well, though the survey suggests that consumers value having a choice between digital and physical gift cards when purchasing from an online store or mobile app.  Of those who have purchased a gift card online or from a mobile app, 36% have purchased a physical card, 33% have purchased a digital gift card and 31% have purchased both.  Of all consumers surveyed, 87% prefer to have the option between a physical gift card and a digital gift card when purchasing from an online store or mobile app.

Consumers were also asked about the type of merchants they purchase from, with 54% buying from restaurants and casual dining establishments. Other popular merchants included department stores, 44%, and web-only retailers, 35%.




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