It’s Raining Gift Cards This Summer, RGCA Says

Breaking away from the traditional styles of gift giving, consumers are increasingly resorting to gift cards, with over 70 percent of consumers planning to buy them as gifts for holidays this spring and summer.

According to research by the Retail Gift Card Association, gift cards are not only becoming the choice of gift for givers, but also the preferred gift for receivers, with 95 percent hoping to receive them on special occasions like weddings, Father’s Day and graduation this year.

“Large-scale retail trends, like movement towards omnichannel and increasing awareness of digital offerings, continue to be reflected in consumers’ use of gift cards,” said Timm Walsh, RGCA chairman of the board. “And our biannual research has confirmed again that shoppers still consider gift cards to be safe, preferred gift choices. This spring and summer season should bring increased sales of this favored gift product.”

As more shoppers shift away from the hassles of going to a retail store to pick a gift, the idea of a physical gift still trumps buying an e-gift card, it was found.

Of the 1,000 U.S. consumers surveyed by RGCA, 56 percent reported plans to give physical gift cards exclusively — either because the recipient didn’t have a smartphone or because the giver had a preference for physical gift cards.

The most common denomination for gift cards was found to be between $25-$50, and some of the most popular types were restaurants (47 percent), department stores (30 percent) and eCommerce websites like Amazon (29 percent).

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