by Deanna Ting | November 29, 2013
Timed to coincide with the beginning of thhe holiday shopping season, the Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA), released the results of its 2013 Holiday Gift Card Trend Tracker Survey. The survey of 2,767 U.S. consumers, conducted in conjunction with SurveyMonkey from Nov. 6 to 8, examines how consumers plan to give and receive gift cards from retail locations this holiday season.  
According to this year's survey results, 74 percent of respondents plan to give one or more gift cards this holiday season, and nearly 30 percent surveyed said that they planned on giving five or more gift cards. Overall, the number of gift cards that consumers plan to purchase as gifts this year increased by 71 percent.
"There is no longer a question that retail gift cards are the most coveted gift to give and get during the holidays but consumers are being more deliberate about which cards they purchase, with 73 percent spending less on holiday spending than they did last year," says Jennifer Tramontana, spokesperson for the Retail Gift Card Association. "This survey shows ways that retailers can compete for savvy consumer dollars by adding holiday promotions and offering online and mobile gift card options such as e-gift codes."
The survey also found the following:
· Gift cards drive store traffic: 78 percent of consumers plan to spend their cards at a retailer’s brick-and-mortar location
· Restaurants and department stores will benefit most from gift card promotion this holiday season. Consumers are most likely to give cards from these types of retailers (57 percent of those surveyed plan on giving a restaurant gift card this year), and they most want to receive cards from these businesses as well (60 percent hope for a department store gift card).
· Convenience and practicality drive the decision to give gift cards: 79 percent of consumers give gift cards because they know the recipient can purchase what they want, and 70 percent give them for convenience.
· Consumers are embracing more online and mobile options: 56 percent plan to stay home and shop on cyber Monday, and 83 percent like having the option to send physical gift cards or e-codes
· Promotions drive gift cards sales: 17 percent of consumers wait for a promotion before buying a gift card, and 23 percent almost always look for promotions at competing retailers before deciding where to buy a gift card
To see the full results of the survey, please click here.