Gift cards have become increasingly popular over the past few years and this Christmas they are expected to be the best selling presents. Indeed, gift cards could also be versatile and universal, suitable equally for our closest people and those who we hardly know. And if you are thinking about giving a gift card this year, you should know several interesting facts about this must-have most popular Christmas gifts on your holiday shopping list.
Gift certificates or gift cards, if you prefer, although considered by many people too impersonal, are becoming more and more popular, starting their retail success in the U.S. and the U.K. According to the latest data from the National Retail Federation, around 80 percent of American shoppers will buy gift cards this year, spending a total of $29.8 billion. And the UK Gift Card & Voucher Association says British customers are expected to spend around $2.3 billion on gift cards for the family, friends and colleagues. And these numbers are believed to go up in the upcoming years for many reasons, although it’s a well-known fact that people sometimes don’t even use their gift cards, turning them into a complete waste of money. Still, the advantages seem to be more than the setbacks. So, let’s see some intriguing facts about the gift cards.
Today, gift cards are more socially acceptable than they were two decades ago. While 43 percent of Americans believe that letting the receiver choose their own gift is great, only 25 percent say gift cards are too impersonal.
According to a 2012 survey by the national Retail Federation, nearly 60 percent of people said they preferred to receive gift cards over other gifts for Christmas.
Last year, 10 percent of shoppers in the U.S. bought a Starbucks gift card. This year, the coffee retailer is expecting record sales of gift cards. For example, a type of their rose-gold coloured cards was released for purchase on website Gild.com and sold out in around six seconds, although they were loaded with £250 credit and cost £280.
Department stores are the most preferred locations for gift card purchase (43 percent of the people chose them), while 12 percent of Americans are expected to give gasoline gift cards, up from 11 percent in 2012. Around 18% of the gift cards will be for coffee shops, 20% for book stores, 14% for discount stores, and around 33% of them will be valid for restaurants.
The most likely reason shoppers buy gift cards this year is their practicality. They are also the easiest and fastest presents for any occasion.
Around $2 billion worth of unused gift cards are lost or forgotten in the U.S. every year and a more shocking fact – nearly $50 billion worth of holiday gifts are returned every year. Most of them are clothing!
Gift cards are the best last-minute gifts you can find, especially electronic or virtual gift cards.
One fact few people are aware of – many credit cards offer incentives like cash back options, savings in various store chains, and discounts on gift cards.
Gift cards are not just for the mall anymore! You can find gift cards for gas, food, clothes, electronics, and even travelling.
The total gift card sales in the U.S. are estimated to reach $30 billion in 2013.
Gift cards may be the lazy option for the holidays, but they are just as good as giving someone cash without the possibility to insult them!
That’s why, before buying all the presents this year, consider getting gift cards.