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by Deanna Ting | July 10, 2014
A recent biannual consumer research survey conducted by the Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) of more than 1,100 U.S. consumers finds that gift cards are still a popular gift choice. 

Among the key findings from the survey are:

Seventy-seven percent of consumers have given a gift card in the past year. Niney percent have received at least one gift card in the past year.

Most consumers do not require a sale or a promotion to be motivated to purchase a gift card.

The No. 1 reason why consumers like to give or receive gfit cards is the fact that end users can purchase what they want.

Sixty-five percent of consumers prefer the convenience of gifting a gift card when bestowing a gift from a group. 

Seventy-four percent of shoppers will wait until there is a sale or promotion before they choose to redeem their gift cards.

Digital gift card use is still emerging. Fifty-four percent of consumers have not heard of mobile gift cards or e-codes. Only 17 percent of those surveyed are "very comfortable" using them. Of those respondents who choose digital gift cards, 72 percent do so when they need to have the gift card immediately.

Gift cards motivate shoppers to go into stores and onto websites, as well as to purchase more. Seventy-two percent of those who purchase a gift card will also shop for themselves. Gift cards increase sales during redemption: 45 percent of shoppers will spend more than the value of the gift card at the time of redemption.

“Convenience and choice make gift cards extremely popular among consumers. Although mobile gift cards and e-codes are not widely used by consumers, we anticipate that the adoption of these technologies will continue to rise into the future,” said Mary Donovan, executive director of the RGCA. “From a business perspective, we are pleased to see the degree to which gift card sales deliver benefits to retailers: consumers report spending more when both purchasing and redeeming gift cards.”
 
The RGCA consumer gift card study was conducted via online survey in the spring of 2014 with more than 1,100 adult respondents. The Retail Gift Card Association is the trade association that represents the closed-loop gift card category.