eGift Adds Value: Most Gift Card Purchasers Now Also Buy eGifts

Shopper research from Blackhawk Network reveals egift acceptance, opportunity for retailers to make gift card programs more valuable by supplementing physical cards with egifts

PLEASANTON, Calif. – August 26, 2015 – Gift cards remain the most popular and coveted gift for all occasions with a vast majority of the population having given or received a gift card in the last year. And now gift card shoppers more frequently turn to egifts in addition to physical cards. New consumer research from Blackhawk Network shows that, for the first time, more than half of gift card buyers have also tried egifts. The shopper data shows that egifting is following the overall trend of consumers increasingly shopping and purchasing on mobile devices and online.

In early 2015, Blackhawk Network surveyed approximately 2,000 Americans to examine their usage of gift cards and adoption of and sentiments towards egifts, which are virtual cards delivered to recipients via email, social media or text message. eGifts can be redeemed in-store, online or via mobile devices.

“Physical gift cards still remain the top gifting choice, but our research indicates that retailers can make their gift card programs even more attractive by incorporating a robust egift element,” said Teri Llach, chief marketing officer for Blackhawk Network, a pioneer of prepaid gift cards, payments tools and rewards delivered via a robust and convenient network. “Our shopper data confirms that mobile and digital acceptance has extended to gift cards. Consumers are increasing their overall purchase of gift cards because they now have more control over the format for delivery and the speed of purchase, plus a wide selection of gift cards and egifts.”

Key findings from the Blackhawk Network survey revealed:

  • Immediate gratification and convenience drive egift sales: Fifty-three percent of the gift card buyers surveyed purchased an egift within the last year and 94 percent bought more or the same amount of egifts in the last 12 months compared to a year ago. The top reasons for doing so included: egifts offer fast electronic delivery (51 percent), they are easier to purchase (41 percent) and they can be sent directly to a recipient who lives out of town, preventing the trouble of sending a gift (35 percent).
  • eGift redemption is not just online: The products are unique in that they effectively drive shopper traffic in-store, online and on mobile for retailers—a coveted capability. The research found that most of the egift recipients surveyed redeem online (69 percent) but a significant amount redeem in store (46 percent). The egift purchasers surveyed report that they predominantly buy the products online (82 percent) followed by mobile phone (26 percent) and tablet (25 percent).
  • Significant opportunities for retailers to drive revenue with egift: Similar to physical gift cards, 82 percent of egift recipients surveyed spend more than the egift value. Additionally, 76 percent say that hearing about a promotion encourages them to spend their egift and 75 percent tend to treat themselves when spending egifts.
  • eGifts popular for a variety of gifting occasions and self-use: With regards to occasions, the consumers surveyed who purchase egifts report that they most frequently select the gifts for birthdays (58 percent), Christmas/winter holidays (37 percent) and for “just because” gifts with no formal occasion (24 percent). The egift purchasers surveyed most frequently purchase the gifts for family friends (35 percent), self-use (28 percent), relatives (27 percent) and siblings and children (both 22 percent).
  • More promotion of egift is needed to drive initial trial: Fifty-six percent of consumers surveyed who have never received an egift would be interested in getting one, yet 44 percent of shoppers surveyed who have never bought egifts report it’s because they’re not familiar with them. More than half (52 percent) of shoppers surveyed who have purchased egifts would buy an egift in store for immediate use, and this number jumps to 83 percent if there is a discount attached to the egift.

Blackhawk Network built its business on pioneering new gift products and solutions that shoppers love and widely adopt. This success is rooted in Blackhawk’s expertise in shopper marketing and its ability to stay ahead of consumer behavior.

About Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a leading prepaid and payments global company, which supports the program management and distribution of gift cards, prepaid telecom products and financial service products in a number of different retail, digital and incentive channels. Blackhawk’s digital platform supports prepaid across a network of digital distribution partners including retailers, financial service providers, and mobile wallets. For more information, please visit and

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