Survey Finds Safety Concerns Leading to Rise in Digital Gift Cards for the Holidays

According to a new report by Chase, while the leading reason for the increase in online holiday shopping is a concern for safety in the pandemic, consumers are also acknowledging that “online shopping is much easier to do.” More than half of the company’s surveyed customers said they will shop in stores less than a year ago with data suggesting gifting virtually is also becoming more painless with the rise of new digital tools.

The report revealed this year has given some popularity toward giving gift cards, with half of its survey respondents saying they plan to purchase gift cards for the holidays. Still, the data found gift cards will likely make up less than 15 percent of overall holiday gifting.

“Holiday shopping looks a bit different this year,” said Allison Beer, head of digital at Chase. “Health and safety concerns will drive many consumers to choose online shopping for gifts this season. Consumers should explore their bank’s digital banking tools to purchase a gift card using their credit reward points or to send a cash gift instantly to friends or relatives.”

When it comes to digital gift cards fewer than 10 percent said they have purchased one from their bank in the past though 25 percent said they are open to doing so. Enthusiasm for purchasing digital gift cards through a bank was found to be led by Gen Z consumers with 40 percent saying they are open to purchasing — an indication that the authors of the report will lead to an increase in popularity moving forward.

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Notably, about 70 percent of Gen Z respondents said they are worried about shopping in-store due to COVID-19. Across all age groups, about 53 percent said they do not like the crowds when shopping in-store.

The primary reason among consumers who said they will not send digital gift cards was found to be a preference for sending physical gifts or gift cards. At the same time, of those intending to purchase gift cards online, almost 80 percent said they would choose to buy from an online-dedicated retailer with over half choosing digital cards and just over a quarter choosing to buy physical gift cards. Still, almost 72 percent of consumers said they intended to purchase a gift card from other retailer websites with just over 40 percent saying they will buy digital gift cards compared to just over 35 percent saying they will buy physical gift cards.

For More WWD Business News:

Amex Trendex Reveals Consumers Are Using Unique Payment Methods for Holiday Gifts

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What’s on Retail’s Wish List This Holiday?

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