by Alex Palmer | March 13, 2012
E-gift cards had a strong showing this holiday season, according to a new report from gift card loyalty firm FuzeBuy. In a survey of its customers, the company found a broad shift from physical to online gift card purchases during the period between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 of last year. 

Overall, the survey found an average of 33 percent of sales moved to e-gift cards during the 2011 holiday season. 

“It’s a big jump,” said Nicole Jedlo, marketing manager for FuzeBuy. “We’re seeing a lot of interest and movement over to e-cards.”

In addition to the growing adoption of e-gift cards, FuzeBuy reported a boost in overall sales among their clients, with sales increases in 2011 compared to 2010 ranging from 19 percent to nearly double last year’s holiday gift card sales. 

Pointing to the CashStar survey that found 59 percent of the top 100 online retailers offer e-gift cards, the FuzeBuy report predicted that this number will soon increase.

The company specifically cited its client Morton’s The Steakhouse, which incorporated e-gift cards into its offerings for the first time in 2011. Over the first three months the e-card was offered, the company reported that it generated $500,000 in sales.

“We are very pleased with the increase in revenue that it generated,” said Angela Reed, database manager for Morton’s The Steakhouse, in a statement. “[It was] much more than we anticipated.”  

The rise has been aided by the growing number of channels, including social and mobile, where e-cards can be accessed. 

“To be able to pull that out on your phone at any time, whether you are at the store or online makes redemption more likely,” said Jedlo. “Most people don’t throw an e-card in a drawer. They have so much in their wallet that to have this on hand makes it easier.”