The gift card industry has transformed drastically over the past decade. Gift cards have always been a way for people to celebrate a loved one or express gratitude. During the pandemic, gift cards became a way for consumers to support their favorite restaurants and retail establishments. The way businesses leverage gift cards continues to evolve as online shopping becomes the norm and consumer spending habits change due to economic uncertainty.

At Card Market, we want to do everything we can to help our customers grow their businesses. Part of our role is to continually collaborate with them on how they might make use of the latest trends and insights to maximize gift card revenue.  

Important Gift Card Insights and Trends for 2023

Here are four gift card trends to consider as you look for ways to sell more gift cards and increase revenue in 2023:

Trend #1: Customization and Personalization are Key Factors in the Decision to Purchase a Gift Card.

Here are two important insights from the latest consumer surveys:

  • 31% of gift cards purchased are for a friend or family member. (Source)
  • 69% of consumers take into account a gift card’s design when making a purchase. (Source)

Both of these statistics speak to customization and personalization—two of the most important things to keep in mind when designing your gift cards

As you look for ways to optimize the experience you create for consumers who purchase gift cards, it’s important to provide options for customization. This could include something as simple as offering gift cards with multiple occasion-specific designs, including birthdays, holidays, and thank-yous. Delivering a personal experience is also helpful, especially for digital gift card recipients. Customers often like to include a personal message or upload a photo to personalize their gift card. 

Trend #2: The Need to Optimize Your Digital Gift Card Program Will Continue to Grow

How do you take your online gift card program from average to good? Or better yet, from good to great? There are two key factors: the purchase experience and promotion. 

Today’s consumers expect a seamless experience when purchasing gift cards online. That’s why it’s important that your gift card shopping cart integrates with your website and payment processors. According to recent studies, consumers also want the ability to choose the exact amount, easy balance checking, and flexibility in the format and use of gift cards. 

Making sure people know about your online gift cards with intentional marketing is another important factor. Leverage communication channels such as email, SMS, social media, and your website, to promote your brand’s gift card offerings. At Card Market, we’ve designed a comprehensive gift card marketing guide to help you promote online gift cards with best practices learned from thousands of gift card sales. 

Trend #3: Economic Factors Will Continue to Impact Gift Card Purchases

Economic challenges such as high inflation, steep gas prices, and fear of an impending recession are directly impacting consumer spending habits. The good news is that gift cards can be a valuable way for businesses to navigate challenging economic seasons

Here are a few statistics that might be helpful to know:

  • Only 23% of consumers said they are purchasing fewer gift cards due to inflation. (Source
  • 17% of consumers have purchased gift cards to counteract higher prices in 2022. (Source)
  • 34% of digital gift card purchases are for self-use. (Source)

These factors can influence the way you market and promote your gift cards. Gift card promotions have become a popular way for consumers to stretch their spending power. For businesses, offering promotions for gift card purchases can be a helpful way to boost revenue and drive repeat visits.

Trend #4: B2B Promotional Strategies Can Exponentially Increase Gift Card Revenue

Most businesses rely on consumers for a majority of their gift card sales. As consumer habits change, one way to mitigate the potential loss is to look for new customers. Other businesses are an untapped market for gift card sales. According to recent studies, 

  • 9 out of 10 businesses say gift cards make an appropriate employee incentive or reward. (Source
  • And yet, only 6% of small and mid-size businesses have an intentional strategy to target B2B customers—compared to 49% for larger retailers. (Source)  

If you’re looking for a way to sell more gift cards, consider businesses or industries that have employees who might benefit from your gift cards. Selling your gift cards to other businesses, even at a discounted rate, could make a huge difference in your gift card revenue potential in 2023. 

Partner with Card Market to Maximize Your Gift Card Revenue

Once you understand consumers’ motivations and habits for purchasing gift cards, the future is full of potential. At Card Market, we are here to help you implement a gift card program that can meet your current needs and scale alongside your business as you grow. Learn more about our physical and online gift card solutions, or contact our team to start your order today.