Mobile Gift Card Spike Forecasted This Holiday Season

Giftly, the gifting company that lets people give personalized, digital gift cards to millions of local establishments, today said that the growing popularity of browsing and purchasing using smartphones will drive a surging shift from plastic to smartphones, as the $100 billion gift card industry seeks to keep up with consumer preferences that are clearly trending to mobile.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently reported that half of all smartphone owners surveyed said they will use their mobile device to support their holiday shopping this year. Of those, 17.3 percent said they would use the phone to redeem coupons and 14.1 percent said they would purchase items using the smartphone. Tablet owners are even more likely to use their device to aid in their holiday shopping – seven in 10 tablet owners will research and shop using their device, with nearly 35 percent making purchases and 21.5 percent planning to use their device to redeem coupons1.

“More and more we’re seeing our lives centered on our mobile phones, reflecting both the need for personalization and anytime, anywhere convenience,” said Tim Bentley, CEO and Founder of Giftly. “Traditional plastic gift cards are the opposite of that. The feedback we’re hearing is that people don’t want to worry about carrying around yet another gift card, for fear of losing or forgetting about it, let alone its environmental impact. Giftly is a gift card you can feel great about giving.”

This year US consumers will purchase more than $100 billion of gift cards. In fact, about 50% of Americans will buy and receive a gift card this year2. Perhaps more interesting, though, is that digital gift card sales increase by 1000 percent between Black Friday and Christmas Day, demonstrating a clear and necessary need around last-minute gifting3.

Understanding these consumer trends, Giftly launched its “reinvention of the gift card” in early September. Giftly users are able to create a gift card that works at any local business in the country, is accessible from any mobile device, and that can even work at multiple places. This brings a level of customization and personalization that’s simply not achievable with the traditional gift card model. The end result is essentially a gifted amount of funds that a recipient redeems when they make a purchase at a merchant listed on their Giftly. In a similar fashion to Foursquare, Giftly uses GPS technology to circumvent integration with a merchant, making the whole experience that more seamless.

For more information on Giftly, please visit: Giftly has created and curated Gift Ideas for almost every city and town in the U.S. Visit to see how gift cards can indeed be local, even without the business having their own gift card program.

About Giftly:

Giftly is a fun way to gift instantly. It’s essentially a smarter, more modern version of the gift card that can be delivered through email or Facebook and redeemed on your mobile phone. It is personalized specifically for the recipient to include their favorite local shops restaurants, retailers—even if the merchant doesn’t have an official “gift card program.” Giftly investors include Baseline Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, RPM Ventures, SoftTechVC, Floodgate Fund, Thrive Capital, and several top-tier angel investors. The company is based in San Francisco, California.

1 Source: National Retail Federation, October 2011:

2 Source:Daily Deal Media, May 2011:

3 Source: Tower Group:


Exclusive PYMNTS Study: 

The Future Of Unattended Retail Report: Vending As The New Contextual Commerce, a PYMNTS and USA Technologies collaboration, details the findings from a survey of 2,325 U.S. consumers about their experiences with shopping via unattended retail channels and their interest in using them going forward.

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