The e-tailing group conducts an Annual Merchant Survey, and in 2010 152 online merchants of all sizes reported gifting being responsible for at least 15% of their business. Since gifting it is difficult to measure, they believe the percentage is larger, as not all purchases are gift wrapped, sent to a gift recipient or shipped with a gift receipt.
US online gift card sales are projected to hit $5.86B in 2014 (source: Javelin Strategy & Research). eGift Cards effectively meet the needs of today’s time-starved consumers. In this regard, it is important to note that convenience, not saving money, is continually the #1 reason customers shop online.
Digital gifting formats are now available from 60% of those EG100 players mystery shopped; this is up from 53% in 4Q ’08, with expectations of significant growth still to come.
Shop.org’s 2010 holiday research indicated that gift cards were incredibly popular, with more than half of consumers buying at least one, mainly for specific stores like Amazon or Best Buy. Here are some additional findings in this area:
- Not quite half of consumers said that gift cards made up a quarter or less of
their total online spending for Holiday ’09.
- One-third of consumers spent between $50 and $200 total on gift cards
- Almost two-thirds of gift cards purchased online averaged between
$10 and $50 each.
- 93% of eGift card purchasers would recommend the service to a friend.
The top reasons why consumers are embracing eGifting will not come as a surprise. They all add up to “choice” and “convenience,” and include:
- Personalize the gift (the ability to add an image and message).
- Ability to choose the amount.
- Avoid shipping and other related charges.
- Ease of use.
- Notification when sent and received.
Selling and customer care opportunities in digital gifting run the gamut from one-off eGift cards to bulk B2B options. Goals can be delighting new customers or smoothing the ruffled feathers of disgruntled ones. Here are some of the possibilities you might consider for expanding your digital gifting arsenal.
- Individual digital gifting.
- Bulk digital gifting.
- Extended service contracts.
- Offers and incentives.
- Customer engagement and retention.
- Customer care.
- Mobile gifting.
- Social media integration.
Is gifting and egifting an integral part of your marketing strategy?