Looking At Gift Cards ‘Through The Eyes Of The Consumer’

New study looks at gift card users through the eyes of consumers.

More and more consumers are purchasing gift cards online, and the vast majority of them are very satisfied with the transactions.

A new study from two industry leaders, CashStar, a provider of prepaid commerce solutions, and Libran Research & Consulting, entitled “Gift Cards Through the Eyes of Consumers,” found a 91 percent satisfaction rate among online gift card purchasers.

The study looked at who purchases gift cards online, how satisfied they were with their purchase experience, which personalization options are important to customers, how prevalent self-purchase has become and what role promotions play in purchase decisions.

“CashStar focuses on providing our merchant clients with a gift card platform that delivers exceptional consumer experiences. We are thrilled to learn that 91 percent of consumers surveyed are happy with CashStar’s online gifting experience,” said CashStar President and CEO Ben Kaplan in a statement. “This research provides a powerful proofpoint of our ongoing commitment to providing a compelling and intuitive consumer experience.”

According to the study, gift card sales rose to $129 billion in 2015, while “closed-loop gift cards” that can only be redeemed at the merchant listed on the card rose $3 billion to $82 billion. Digital gift cards grew at the fastest rate, an increase of 26 percent, to $7.1 billion in 2015.

The study found that online gift card buyers were mainly females buying the cards for family or friends with high household incomes of $89,000 on average. And although most customers sought out some level of personalization with their gift cards, most were unwilling to pay any more for that personalization feature.

“Although a gifting occasion is the primary reason purchasers buy gift cards (73 percent), promotions are an important driver of purchases as well (18 percent). While every brand views promotions differently, having a platform that supports the ability to run gift card promotions to drive incremental gift card sales, attract new customers and lock in holiday spending is probably important,” according to the report.

The study looked at “engaged gift card purchasers” who buy nine or more gift cards per year.