Gift Card Market

Global Market Study on Gift Cards: Growing Trend of e-Gifting Aiding Market Expansion

About the Report

Increasing adoption of gift cards in commercial sectors for employee recognition and awards is expected to drive demand over the coming years. Rising prominence of e-gifting is aiding market growth across regions, with sales the highest in Europe, follow by East Asia. High sales of gift cards are being witnessed from restaurants, closely followed by departmental stores.

In its new study, market research and consulting firm Persistence Market Research offers detail insights related to factors and components driving the sales of gift cards, which are especially high in the commercial sector. The study tracks the global gift card market in 20+ high-growth markets, along with analyzing the impact of novel coronavirus on the parent industry in general, and gift cards in specific.

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Companies

  • Apple, Inc
  • Amazon.com, Inc.
  • Best Buy Company, Inc.
  • Starbucks Corporation
  • Target Corporation
  • Walmart Stores
  • QwickCilver Solutions
  • National Gift Card Corporation
  • InComm
  • Gyft
  • Edge Loyalty Systems Pty. Ltd.
  • Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc.
  • Edenred Group
  • The Up Group
  • Other Players (As Requested)

Historic & Future Outlook on Demand for Gift Cards

Over the period of 2016 to 2020, the gift card market progressed at a CAGR of 8.3%, and is expected to grow even faster during the period of forecast (2021 to 2031). Partial redemption is a prominent feature encouraging adoption. Parallely growing e-Commerce and M-commerce are playing a significant role in supporting industry growth. Furthermore, availability of significant customization and personalization opportunities on the part of gift cards are further expected to drive adoption across regions.

Players in the market are currently engaged in expanding their market penetration and operations through strategic partnerships and collaborations with other stakeholders, affiliates, suppliers, service providers, etc. According to the analysis, gift card sales are set to expand at a CAGR of over 12% through 2031.

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What is the Commercial Potential of e-Gifting in the Industry?

E-Gift cards are parallelly referred to as digital cards, virtual cards, and mobile gift cards. Prominence of these digital cards over plastic cards is increasing significantly. Many retailers have now adopted e-gifting, on realizing that, if their consumers are online, they should also be there. Virtual cards are highly rated when it comes to operational and usage flexibility, as these cards are delivered directly to the beneficiary through an e-mail or SMS in the form of a code and link. Rapid penetration of online payment systems is another factor that is significantly contributing to the adoption of virtual cards across geographies.

Also, digital gift cards align best with omni channel strategies, which is why, preferences for virtual cards is increasing day by day. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, many commercial establishments are working remotely, and the ideology of virtual gifting has gained further traction.

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Is the Use of Gift Cards as Promotional Tool Remaining Static?

Since the past many years, gift cards are being increasingly used as a promotional tool. Many brand owners and retailers use gift cards to strengthen their customer loyalty programs and enhance the value proposition of consumers, increase referrals, and retain customers. Adoption of gift cards for consumer loyalty programs is increasing, as brand owners and retailers have now started to believe that it is this that is attracting consumer interest and participation. Many retailers and brand owners have now realized that offering a best mix of rewards can help appeal consumers across different demographics and income groups. Such efforts to move second-best potential consumers to being the most loyal are expected to further positively impact the adoption of gift cards.

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Will B2B Sales Play a Key Role in Revolutionizing the Industry?

Most multinational companies and small-scale players are currently focused on enhancing employee motivation by offering them gift cards in the form of rewards and recognition. Many companies are aggressively trying their level best to inspire and motivate employees to perform their best and achieve higher goals. Such efforts are expected to drive gift card sales over the coming years.

How are Players Enhancing Market Penetration through Strategic Alliances?

Players in the market are focused on actively enhancing their business penetration across different regions. Few players operating in the industry are currently acquiring, collaborating, or partnering with other players with an aim to boost their market presence. For instance, recently, in November 2020, Blackhawk Network announced the acquisition of NGC (National Gift Card), which is a card and prepaid technology company. This acquisition has helped the company to successfully strengthen its incentive solutions.

Such efforts on the part of players are further expected to reshape industry trends and competition levels in this space.

Will Consumers Increasingly Valuing End User’s Choices Aid Demand Growth?

Individuals today are very keen about gifting the best to their beloved, but similarly, they also fret about buying something not suitable for the recipient. Thus, as gift providers are increasingly valuing consumers’ choices, gift cards are slowly replacing material gifts. Rapid change in consumer gifting habits is expected to positively impact the adoption of gift cards over the coming years. Other factors such as usage and operational flexibility, wider acceptance, and customized solutions are further fueling growth in the adoption of gift cards across geographies.

Is Sustainability Reshaping Industry Trends?

As the concept of sustainability is gaining traction in the market, few players are focused on switching their offerings to eco-friendly or biodegradable alternatives. Few market players have collaborated with others process companies to recycle cards. Edenred Group is one such example. The ideology of sustainability is further positively driving consumer perception, and encouraging them to switch to dematerialized gift cards from physical gift cards.

How has the Gift Card Industry been Impacted by COVID-19?

The COVID-19 outbreak has transformed the gift card industry. The gap between the penetration of physical gift cards and virtual gift cards sales in narrowing. Sighting this, innovation is now focused on digital cards or e-cards. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, store closures across regions impacted the sales of physical gift cards. This impacted the industry’s growth, as physical gift cards continue to hold a notable share in the overall market.

On the other side, due to building economic pressure, many business sectors are becoming creative in finding solutions to ramp up business. This is likely to include the use of gift cards as a promotional tool. Businesses such as restaurants and cafeterias highly perceive gift cards as a valuable source of immediate cash flow. The meaning of gift cards has completely changed for such sectors amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

gift-card-market

Country-wise Insights

Has Extensive Sue of Non-cash Rewards by Commercial Sector in the U.S. Facilitated Regional Growth?

High digital penetration in the United States has played a significant role in the adoption of e-gifting. More and more commercial sector businesses in the country are using non-cash ways to reward and recognize the efforts and performance of important employees, suppliers, and partners in the form of reward points, gift cards, incentive travel, etc. This penetrating reward culture in the United States itself reflects high regional growth potential.

Will Customization & Personalization Services Drive Gift Card Adoption in the U.K.?

Being a gifting and reward solution, customization is highly preferred by consumers in gift cards. Customization is not new to the U.K., but is perceived to add an extra perk in the revenue bag by players. Considering growing corporate and personal needs, players in the country have now resorted to offering customized and personalized gift card solutions. For instance, Amazon.com, Inc. is one such company that offers an opportunity to personalize and customize card offerings on the basis of the occasion. Players are offering personalization in terms of gifting amount, card design, pattern, etc. Considering corporate requirements, suppliers also provide customization in terms of company name and logo embossment, besides others.

Will an Aggressive Business Expansion Strategy by Players in France Impact Sales?

France is another lucrative market for gift cards. The penetration of the B2B gift card market in France is comparatively higher than in other regions. Players operating in the B2B category are aggressively focused on expanding their business penetration and operations in employee engagement platforms. For instance, in 2018, The Up Group announced the acquisition of Givve Company, which is specialized in employee engagement solutions and incentives. Such expansion efforts and initiatives are likely to facilitate substantial growth in this regional market.

Will the Millennial Population in India Drive Sales of Gift?

Millennials account for the largest population in India. As millennials today have prioritized end users’ choices, Indian millennials are slowly moving toward gift cards over materialistic gifts. In a busy and hectic world, millennials increasingly prefer easy and feasible solutions in all instances, including gifting. This attitude has attracted and encouraged them toward adopting gift cards over materialistic gifts.

Is Rapid Growth of the Retail Industry in Brazil Positively Impacting Gift Card Sales?

Growing retail sector in Brazil is expected to play a key role in facilitating growth in the adoption of gift cards in the country. As per 2019 statistics of the Brazilian Government, growth in the retail sector was the highest in 2018 since the past five years. The sector includes supermarkets and food products, hypermarkets, pharmaceutics and medicines, computers, and other communication equipment. Growing retail sector is itself an indicator that points out toward a bright future for gift card sales in the country. Increasing penetration of supermarkets/hypermarkets and other food and restaurant chains is likely to contribute to high gift card adoption in Brazil.

Category-wise Insights

Why Do Restaurants Dominate the Gift Card Industry?

In terms of merchant type, restaurants account for a significant share of 23.7%, followed by department stores, discount stores, supermarkets/hypermarkets, and grocery stores. With an aim to attract consumer attention and increase coupon sales, restaurants are more engaged in offering cards, discounts, etc. The use of gift cards is also likely to increase in department stores. The department store category is likely to register a CAGR of more than 16% during the forecast period. Increasing penetration of department stores in middle- and low-income countries is another factor that points toward the growth of this sector.

Why are Restaurant Closed Loop Gift Cards Highly Sought-after?

In terms of card type, restaurant closed loop cards hold a notable share of 28.1%, followed by retail closed loop and universal accepted closed loop. Offerings of gift cards by restaurant aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, etc., have played a key role in facilitating high sales growth of restaurant closed loop cards. The category is expected to register growth at a CAGR of close to 9% through 2031.

Will Online Sales Register Significant Growth?

In terms of distribution channel, offline sales account for a noteworthy share. However, online channels are likely to register significant growth over the years to come; more than offline channels by 2.8%. Rapidly increasing online penetration of consumers and payment systems is likely to play a significant role in driving the sales of gift cards through online channels.

Competitive Landscape

Players in the market are actively expanding their industry penetration to gain a competitive advantage over others. Many players are also enhancing their operations in low- and middle-income countries. For instance, Edenred SA and The Up Group are few of the B2B players that are aggressively enhancing their operations in low- and middle-income countries. Besides, collaboration with third-party gift card providers is further helping players expand their reach in the market.

Market players are focused on brand penetration by following aggressive promotional strategies. Few players engaged in the B2B market are also promoting their card offerings as tax benefit cards. All of such efforts and actions on the part of suppliers are expected to positively impact the growth of gift card sales in both, the personal as well as commercial category.

Some of the leading companies offering gift cards are:

  • Apple, Inc.
  • Amazon.com, Inc.
  • Best Buy Company, Inc.
  • Starbucks Corporation
  • Target Corporation
  • Walmart Stores
  • QwickSilver Solutions
  • National Gift Card Corporation
  • InComm
  • Gyft
  • Edge Loyalty Systems Pty. Ltd.
  • Blackhawk Network holdings, Inc.
  • Edenred Group
  • The Up Group

*The list is not exhaustive, and only for representational purposes. Full competitive intelligence with SWOT analysis available in the report.

Report Scope

Attribute

Details

Forecast Period

2021-2031

Historical Data Available for

2016-2020

Market Analysis

USD Million for Value and Units for Volume

Key Regions Covered

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia
  • Oceania
  • Middle East & Africa

Key Countries Covered

  • US
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • U.K.
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • GCC Countries
  • Northern Africa
  • South Africa

Key Segments Covered

  • Merchant Type
  • Type
  • End User
  • Price Range
  • Sales Channel
  • Region

Key Companies Profiled

  • Apple, Inc.
  • Amazon.com, Inc.
  • Best Buy Company, Inc.
  • Starbucks Corporation
  • Target Corporation
  • Walmart Stores
  • QwickSilver Solutions
  • National Gift Card Corporation
  • InComm
  • Gyft
  • Edge Loyalty Systems Pty. Ltd.
  • Blackhawk Network holdings, Inc.
  • Edenred Group
  • The Up Group

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecasts
  • Brand Share Analysis
  • Competition Intelligence
  • DROT Analysis
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives

Customization & Pricing

Available upon Request

Market Segmentation by Category

Merchant Type

  • Restaurants
  • Department Stores
  • Grocery Stores
  • Supermarkets/Hypermarkets
  • Discount Stores
  • Coffee Shops
  • Entertainments
  • Salons/Spa
  • Book Stores
  • Home Décor Stores
  • Gas Stations
  • Visa/Master Card/American Express Gift Cards
  • Others

Type

  • Universal Accepted Open Loop
  • Restaurant Closed Loop
  • Retail Closed Loop
  • Miscellaneous Closed Loop
  • E-Gifting

End User

  • Business
    • Small and Medium Enterprises
    • Large Enterprises
  • Individuals

Price Range

  • High (Above 400 US$)
  • Medium (200-400 US$)
  • Low (0-200 US$)

Sales Channel

  • Online
  • Offline

Region

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia
  • Middle East and Africa (MEA)
  • Oceania

Key Questions Answered in Report

Q1. What is the market size of gift cards?

The global gift card market is expected to witness a CAGR of over 12% during the forecast period of 2021-2031. As per Persistence Market Research, market valuation is around US$ 413 billion in 2020.

Q2. Which is the most lucrative market for gift cards?

The U.S. currently leads the global gift card market. In terms of value sales, the country accounts for more than 25% of global sales.

Q3. Which are some of the leading companies offering gift cards?

Some of the leading companies providing gift cards are Apple, Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., Best Buy Company, Inc., Starbucks Corporation, Target Corporation, Walmart Stores, QwickSilver Solutions, National Gift Card Corporation, InComm, Gyft, Edge Loyalty Systems Pty. Ltd., Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc., Edenred Group, and The Up Group.

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