October 18, 2022

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

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post ran in 2021. We’re publishing this updated version to include the latest figures and estimates for gift cards and consumer spending habits at the holidays in 2022.

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 2022 Predicted to Rise

2022 holiday retail sales are expected to increase 4–6%

Total holiday spending in 2022 is estimated to reach $1.47 Trillion

– Deloitte, September 2022

Consumer Insights for the 2022 Holidays

58% plan to shop in store this holiday season
37% of consumers plan to splurge on Black Friday in 2022
66% prefer to give physical gift cards as holiday gifts, up from 58% in 2021
58% prefer to receive physical gift cards as holiday gifts, up from 43% in 2021
44% consumers prefer holiday-themed gift card images

Despite inflation, gift card purchasing habits remain steady. Most shoppers are looking to purchase cards in the same popular denominations as last year:


– Fiserv’s Gift Card Gauge, Q3 2022

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 2022. With concerns about inflation, ongoing supply chain issues affecting inventory, and potential shipping delays, consumers are poised to tackle their seasonal purchases ahead of schedule.

57% plan to start their holiday shopping before November
60% plan to purchase gift cards to avoid issues with product availability

– Google Research 2022 and Fiserv’s Gift Card Gauge, Q3 2022

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 2022 Holiday Gifting Report, gift cards remain a popular, flexible, and economically resilient gifting option. Despite inflation concerns and more conservative spending habits, 8% of surveyed consumers plan to increase gift spending and 18% expect to spend more on gift cards this year. Respondents plan to purchase an average of 36 gift cards each, with over half of those purchases being physical gift cards (compared to digital). Capture your share of that revenue by offering gift cards at your business!

What’s more, 45% of consumers report they would rather buy a gift card than leave a store empty-handed. With gift cards, you can ensure a convenient shopping experience and have an essential back-up plan for unavailable items.

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!