NEW YORK — First Data this week released a white paper analyzing the results from a nationwide gift card shopping survey, conducted through the course of the 2014 holiday season. The survey, conducted by Marketforce International, sent mystery shoppers into more than 650 stores across 63 retailers. The results are meant to provide insight into how retailers can implement successful processes that drive both loyalty and increased sales to gift cards, according to the white paper.
Plastic still important
While virtual and mobile gift cards are gaining popularity, plastic still dominated the market. First Data noted that 98% of all gift cards sold in the United States in 2013 were in plastic form.
Assortment is key
Providing new assortments of cards to customers throughout the year is import to a successful gift-card program. The study noted that the holiday is the perfect time to introduce new graphics and designs that generate excitement and increase the desire to actually purchase.
When shoppers were asked which grocery/pharmacy store-branded cards with special features appealed to them, “unique shape” and “unique material” came out on top, with “see-through” also proving a popular choice.
Each mystery shopper that participated in the survey completed a questionnaire aligned with the seven vertical industries included in the study: specialty retail, department, discount, grocery/pharmacy, quick service, casual dining and petroleum/convenience. Mystery shoppers also provided feedback on signage, displays, card and carrier designs and promotions.
To view the complete white paper, click here