Blackhawk Research: Speed, Convenience Drive E-Gifting
Digital gifting continues to make inroads, with more than half of consumers surveyed by Blackhawk Network reporting the purchase of an e-gift over the previous year. Of 2,000 gift card buyers polled earlier this year, 53 percent had purchased an e-gift during the preceding 12 months. The most common reasons given for e-gifting were: fast delivery (51 percent); easier purchase (41 percent) and the ability to have an e-gift sent directly to a recipient who lives far away (35 percent.) For merchants, e-gifts are powerful drivers of in-store traffic, with nearly half of recipients—46 percent—reporting they’d redeemed an e-gift in store.
Despite those promising findings, Blackhawk’s research indicates that additional promotion of e-gifts could help push more consumers to give them a try. Fifty-six percent of survey respondents who’d never received an e-gift said they’d be interested in getting one—but 44 percent of those who’d never bought an e-gift cited unfamiliarity as the main reason why.
Blackhawk was named Change Agent of the Year in Paybefore Awards Europe for expanding e-gifting in digital and mobile channels. In January, the company, through its Retailo GmbH subsidiary, integrated with Germany’s Deutsche Kreditbank AG’s online banking platform to offer digital gifts directly to the bank’s customers. The company also partnered with Barclays in the U.K. to enable e-gift purchases through the mobile P2P service Pingit. Last year, Blackhawk partnered with Canadian telecom provider Rogers Communications to open Blackhawk’s digital gifting platform to users of Rogers’s mobile wallet. And in 2013, Blackhawk began offering its e-gift cards through the PayPal mobile app. The company considers digital gifts an opportunity for retailers to reach new groups of buyers, rather than cannibalizing traditional gift cards.