by Deanna Ting | October 07, 2013
On Oct. 1, RSR Research released the results of its third annual benchmarking report, “Digital Gift Cards: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly,” which evaluates top retailers’ digital gifting experiences. This year, based on the evaluation criteria, the following companies were ranked as having the most comprehensive digital gift card offerings: The Home Depot, Sephora, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and The Cheesecake Factory.

The evaluation criteria covers five categories: discoverability/awareness, desirability/conversion, recipient experience, social integration, and mobile. The digital gift card purchases evaluated in the report were conducted by RSR in July and August 2013.

This year was the third time that The Home Depot has earned the No. 1-ranking by RSR. “We are proud to be named the best in digital gifting by RSR,” said Spencer Allen, senior director of gift cards and CRM for The Home Depot. “We know innovation in the digital gift card arena is vital to providing our customers with the best experience, something we strive to do in every area of our business.”

The report also noted major improvements in digital gifting experiences overall. Retailers with the best rankings, the report found, have streamlined their checkout processes to include fewer screens, offer more personalization options, have more convenient card management on mobile devices, and have strong, responsive customer service departments. “This year we really raised the bar in terms of the evaluation criteria, focusing on truly exceptional experiences,” said Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR Research. “We commend The Home Depot and each of the category winners for continuing to outpace the competition when it comes to digital gifting,” she added.

In apparel, brands such as Gap Inc., Ralph Lauren, lululemon, Talbots were tops. For beauty, Sephora was ranked No. 1, and for books and music, Amazon led the category. Best Buy was the best for computers and electronics, while Sears was the top department store. For footwear, the Finish Line finished first, and for general merchandise, Liberty Interactive (OVC) was tops. Crate & Barrel took top honors for home goods and furnishings, L.L. Bean for sports and outdoor equipment, and Toys “R” Us for toys and games.

“The gifting experience — whether it is a gift card or a traditional product purchase — is a retail brand’s opportunity to influence two parties — the buyer and the recipient,” said Steven Boal, CEO at CashStar, a digital gift card solutions provider that sponsored the report. “By providing an exceptional experience, a retailer can essentially create two brand enthusiasts when before there may have just been one.” 

Boal added, “We’re encouraged by RSR’s findings that digital gifting has become a priority for more retailers than in years past, and would like to congratulate the CashStar clients that scored well in this year’s report.” All five of the top-ranking retailers in this year’s report use digital gifting platforms offered by CashStar.

To read the entire report, please click here