October 29, 2021

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Gift Card Season

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post ran in 2019. We’re publishing this updated version to include the latest figures and estimates for gift cards and consumer spending habits at the holidays in 2021.

With the holidays quickly approaching, now’s the time to prepare for the busiest shopping season of the year. Whether you own a small retail store or local restaurant, you can boost profits and bring in new customers with the one thing on everyone’s holiday wish list—gift cards!

To illustrate just how much gift cards can add to a small business’s bottom line, we’ve made a list—and checked it twice. Take a look at the many reasons gift cards can help you unwrap additional sales this holiday season and all year long!

Holiday Spending for 2021 Predicted to Rise

2021 holiday retail sales are expected to increase 7–9%

Total holiday spending in 2021 estimated to reach $1.3 Trillion

– Deloitte, September 2021

Consumer Insights for the 2021 Holidays

26% plan to spend more for the 2021 holiday season than they did in 2020
64% plan to shop in store this holiday season
77% of consumers plan to splurge on Cyber Monday or Black Friday in 2021
58% prefer to give physical gift cards as holiday gifts, up from 42% in 2020
58% prefer to receive physical gift cards as holiday gifts, up from 39% in 2020

Shoppers plan to put more on gift cards this year than in 2020, with most purchasing
cards in these popular denominations:

When Do Consumers Shop?

While there will always be early-bird shoppers who start checking off their holiday gift list in the fall, many would-be procrastinators may join them in 2021. With ongoing supply chain issues affecting inventory, worries about shipping delays, and concerns the pandemic may impact their ability to shop, consumers are poised to tackle their seasonal purchases ahead of schedule.

56% plan on starting their holiday shopping before November
61% won’t complete their holiday shopping until December

– Fiserv’s Gift Card Gauge, June 2021

Gift cards take the pressure off shoppers, alleviate lost revenue when inventory is out of stock, and keep sales in your store!

Gift Cards Reign Supreme for the Holidays

According to Blackhawk Network’s 2021 Holiday Shopping Forecast, gift cards have been the most requested holiday gift for nearly 15 years—and remain in the top position for 2021. And, 83% of consumers want to give a gift card instead of a physical gift this year. Shoppers surveyed planned to purchase an average of 15 gift cards each and they expect to spend 41% of their holiday gifting budget, $272 on average, on gift cards in 2021—up from 2020. Capture your share of that revenue by offering gift cards at your business!

What’s more, 40% of consumers report receiving a gift they didn’t want and 73% are annoyed when they have to return or exchange a present. With gift cards, these pain points are eliminated for both shoppers and gift recipients.

With so many reasons to offer gift cards all year round, but particularly at the holidays, turn to eGiftSolutions®.

eGiftSolutions® also makes it easy to switch from your current gift card program—and even offers a free QuickStart™ Program. Get started today!