Did you know the global gift card market is expected to grow from $800 billion to $1.6 trillion by 2027? That’s adding another $800 billion in just four years.
When you look more closely at the latest trends research, the reason for such phenomenal gift card growth is not surprising.
There’s never been a better time to begin using gift cards as rewards or incentives — or optimize the rewards or incentives program you already have. Gift cards are here to stay. And here’s a roundup of the latest stats to prove it.
Before you order logo merchandise like water bottles or hoodies for your customers, employees, or other recipients, consider this trends research.
For the 16th year in a row, gift cards were the No. 1 most requested gift, according to the National Retail Federation. BHN’s own recent research backs this up, finding that 85% prefer a gift card over a specific gift.
It makes sense. Most people, whether receiving a gift for a job well done or for completing a survey, would rather pick out something they know they’ll like rather than accept a gift they’ll most likely put directly in the donation pile.
Believe it or not, 58% of people buy gift cards for self-use, according to BHN research. Why? For starters, gift cards can be a faster and easier way to pay for things, especially digital purchases.
But people also like to use them to take advantage of promotions, discounts, or point offers. Earning fuel points at the grocery store when you buy gift cards is one popular promotion. In fact, if a gift card promotion is offered, 87% of shoppers are more likely to buy.
While gift cards started out as an extension of gift certificates for one retailer, there are now plenty of multi-brand options.
The Gap Options card, for example, covers Old Navy, The Gap, Athleta, and Banana Republic, giving the recipient different price points for spending their reward. And there are themed card options that offer the recipient choice, such as Game & Grub, which includes Xbox and GameStop, Buffalo Wild Wings and Dominoes, plus GrubHub delivery.
Multi-brand gift cards are not only available more, they’re also becoming more popular, according to the latest trends research. In BHN’s 2022 post-holiday survey, multi-brand gift cards moved up in preference, purchased by 33% of respondents, versus 27% in 2021.
The numbers from BHN research also show that recipients want more varied choices:
If the trends research hasn’t convinced you to use gift cards to reward employees, customers, and survey participants, consider this final stat: Nearly two-thirds (62%) of consumers have bought a gift card in the past year. With that kind of growing popularity, there’s never been a better time to begin making gift cards work for your business.
Want to see what other trends research is relevant for your rewards and incentives program? Download our e-book!