Selling Digital Gift Cards? You Better Personalize Them

Up to 76% of shoppers are interested in at least one form of personalization when they receive digital gift cards, according to a study from CashStar.

The survey indicated eight personalization options that could be included within digital gift cards:

  • Personalized messages (68% of consumers interested);

  • Occasion-specific faceplate options such as “Great Job” or “Happy Anniversary” (60%);


  • Custom photos (45%);

  • Animated GIFs (36%);

  • Song from gift card music library (29%);

  • Digital photo book (28%);

  • Video from library (26%); and

  • Custom video (26%).

When asked whether these personalization options would have an impact on digital gift card purchases, 44% of respondents indicated the such options would likely lead them to purchase more digital gift cards. That number jumps to 81% for those who are interested, or very interested, in each of the more advanced personalization options.

To compile the report, titled: “Gift Cards Through the Eyes of Consumers,” CashStar recently partnered with Libran Research & Consulting, to conduct an online survey of 822 consumers who purchased digital and plastic gift cards from e-Commerce sites from November 2015 to February 2016.

Gift card purchasers using the CashStar platform are highly engaged and active buyers, purchasing nearly nine gift cards per year. While nearly one-quarter of respondents purchase open-loop gift cards, which are typically valid in a wide variety of brands, the majority of their purchases (73%) are closed-loop cards that can be only used at one chain.

Despite the preference for personalization, consumers still predominantly purchase physical gift cards over digital.In total, 69% of purchases were for plastic cards, compared to 31% for digital.The highest proportion of consumers (39%) said they purchase cards in stores and online equally, while 28% said they purchase mostly in stores. Only 16% purchased mostly online.

The good news for brands is that the online gift card purchase process is quick and easy for consumers: 91% of purchasers are “very happy” with the online experience, with 80% saying they are “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to both purchase gift cards online again and to recommend purchasing gift cards online to others.

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