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Gift Card Guilt

Having the capacity to use a gift card through a mobile wallet, app or simply just a smartphone may be one way retailers can appeal to shoppers who can’t find that perfect gift this holiday season. There’s just one hurdle: Guilt.

In fact, that mobile gift card may just be the perfect gift as a new survey shows a majority of consumers prefer gift cards over gifts but feel guilty asking for them. The findings of the CashStar survey expand on the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey.

In the survey, 24 percent of respondents showed that the ability to save gift cards to mobile wallets, apps or a smartphone so the recipient has easy access to the the gift card was a desirable reason to buy a gift card. Having the ability to personalize the mobile gift card with a customized text greeting was cited as a reason by 23 percent of those surveyed.

“Digital gift cards and the ability to personalize them with photos, videos and special messages have helped change the perception of gift cards being ‘impersonal’ gifts. As the survey showed, consumers prefer to receive gift cards and are also delighted to give them,” Ben Kaplan, president and CEO of CashStar said in a company news release. “But some consumers still feel guilty asking for gift cards. Clearly, it’s time for people to get over any lingering gift card guilt."

Other results from the survey concluded: “Fifty-five percent of respondents prefer receiving gift cards versus physical gifts, jumping to 61 percent among 35-44 year-olds,” and “Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said they feel less guilty spending money on something for themselves when they are able to pay with the gift cards they receive.”

Ready to get rid of that retail guilt this holiday season? These results show retailers may want to look toward their mobile audience to expanding their customer base through the gift consumers want most: the gift to shop on their own without guilt.

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