As consumers look to buy gifts for their family and friends, they often run into difficulties figuring out what to buy them, leading many to opt for gift cards. However, as the retail industry overall trends further toward e-Commerce and mobile spending, more Millennial consumers are showing interest in buying and using gift cards digitally.
In fact, 29% of consumers aged 18 to 35 have purchased or received digital or online gift cards within the past year, compared to 18% of consumers aged 36 to 55 and 13% of those aged 56 to 65, according to a survey from Stored Value Solutions.
Trifecta Research conducted the survey for Stored Value Solutions from March 16-18, 2015 among 1,000 representative consumers aged 18 to 65.
Young adults have a higher propensity to purchase gift cards of any kind than older consumers, but the generational difference is highlighted even further in the case of digital gift cards. Consumers aged 18 to 35 are more than twice as likely to purchase digital gift cards as older consumers.
Digital Cards Still In Early Growth Stage
Even with this data in mind, it appears the U.S. is still in its infancy in terms of digital gift card purchases: nearly two thirds, 64%, of consumers still say they have no experience purchasing or receiving a digital gift card for use in a retail store.
As a whole, consumers are currently struggling with the concept of downloading digital gift cards to apps or digital wallets. Only 15% of consumers report having downloaded apps, and 53% of consumers that have bought or received digital gift cards have printed them out to present at the time of payment.
When it comes down to it, Millennials are more comfortable than their older counterparts with using digital cards online: 40% of consumers aged 18 to 35 have used digital gift cards, either by presenting them by email on a mobile device or by redeeming them via app or digital wallet.
To help increase digital redemption of gift cards, the study suggests retailers conduct an assessment of their application and make the changes needed to simplify digital gift card processes and make them more fun.