Graduation season is right around the corner, and finding a way to celebrate a newly minted graduate is top of mind for many people. Graduation is one of the most popular milestones for purchasing gift cards, second only to birthdays. Businesses should know that 67% of consumers are likely to purchase a gift card as a graduation gift. 

College Graduates Love Gift Cards

Celebrating a loved one is one of the top reasons people purchase gift cards or say, “I care about you.” So why are gift cards the perfect gift for a recent college or high school graduate? Here are three important statistics from a study on GenZ purchasing habits:  

  • ~51% of Gen Z consumers are buying physical gift cards every three months.
  • 41% of Gen Z consumers buy e-gift cards at least once every three months, compared to 26% of Gen X consumers and 14% of baby boomers. 
  • Gen Z’s time spent shopping online has increased by 43 minutes per week since before the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to a more recent study, consumers spent nearly $6 billion on graduation gifts in 2021. 31% of that spending went toward purchasing gift cards for graduates. 

These statistics highlight how often college and high school graduates are using gift cards as a part of their habitual spending. 

4 Heartfelt Gift Card Ideas for Your College Graduate

So how can you capitalize on Gen Z’s use of gift cards? Here are a few ideas based on research of their spending habits: 

  1. A Gift Card that Supports Their Education 

Today’s college graduates are on track to have the highest level of education of any generation. Even after graduating, many are expected to invest in courses or educational programs that will advance their future earnings. But they also recognize the cost of continuing their education. Purchasing a gift card that supports their efforts to pursue education after graduation is a great way to continue to invest in their personal development. 

  1. A Gift Card for Their Favorite Small Business 

Gen Z tends to care about supporting small businesses more than any other generation. Small-business spending has increased more than 260% for Gen Z since 2020. This conscious effort to support small businesses is something that connects with the values of many college graduates. Purchasing a gift card to their favorite small business is a great way to show them you know them and care about the things they do. 

  1. A Gift Card that Promotes Their Health and Wellness 

Today’s college graduates care about their overall health and wellness. In fact, “health and wellness” was the second-highest category of Gen Z spending. Supporting their efforts toward self-care by purchasing a gift card for a business or product that supports their wellness is a great way to care for them.

  1. A Gift Card that Supports Sustainability and Environmental Efforts

Today’s college graduates care about the long-term impact of their purchasing decisions. When asked what type of gifts they enjoy receiving, the second-most popular answer was “gifts that inspire sustainability efforts or help people reduce their eco-footprint.” Purchasing gift cards from companies that value sustainability and care about making a positive social impact is another way to show graduates you care about what they value. 

If you are a business looking for creative ways to market your gift cards to parents, Card Market can help. We provide gift cards for all occasions and all purposes for your business. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!