The Brilliance Of The Plastic Gift Card
Sales of pre-paid plastic gift cards continue to rise as consumers turn to this option in favour of traditional gifts. This allows the recipient to enjoy the satisfaction of spending money and choosing something they like without expense to themselves. The UK Gift Card & Voucher Association (UKGCVA) estimated the total market value to be just over £5 billion in 2013, with 70% of sales via plastic gift cards. Over the festive period in 2014 alone, sales of plastic gift cards totalled over £3 billion, a rise of 10% on the previous year.
Marks and Spencer is the biggest gift voucher seller in the market, with media vouchers for e-stores such as Amazon and iTunes market leaders in terms of individual retailers. However, sales of multi-retailer cards such as One4All , allowing customers to exchange credit in Boots, John Lewis, and Curry’s to name a few, enjoyed a huge jump of almost 50% in the year to December 2014. In August 2014, John Lewis replaced its paper voucher system completely with pre-paid plastic cards. A spokesperson reported positive reactions from customers and higher than average performance.
A large proportion of gift card sales are attributed to the fourth quarter of the year. Research from accountancy firm BDO International has shown that over two thirds of consumers who celebrate Christmas would rather receive a physical gift card than a digital one. Consumers still enjoy the physical act of gift giving and receiving. They want their gift to be something the recipient likes and not something bought on a whim because it was required.
The business-to-business (B2B) gift card market, encompassing employee sales incentives and customer loyalty programmes, is enjoying even larger growth than the consumer market – 10.14% in the third quarter of 2014. The majority of B2B spend is used as a motivational tool for employees, with electronic cards the overriding choice. These cards are easier to load and deliver, making them cheaper to manage.
In his predictions for 2015, the Director General of UKGCVA notes the consistently strong growth from 2014 and expects this to continue in both the consumer and B2B sectors in the year to follow.
The Plastic Card People are specialists in plastic card printing so if you are looking to boost your sales all year round then our customised gift cards are perfect.