New epay trend survey “Gift cards in the digital age”

Voucher cards in the digital age

Key results:

  • The number of people who shop both on- and offline is increasing considerably
  • Stationary retail remains top dog
  • High risk of lack of loyalty from disappointed consumers in stores
  • Individualization triumphs in e-commerce

Martinsried (Munich), June 27, 2019:

In physical or digital form, gift cards are becoming increasingly popular as confirmed by a recent survey by epay, a leading provider of gift card and payment solutions in Europe, and Plentyco, a leading service provider in field-marketing and point-of-sale services. In this survey, 96 percent of respondents – who had bought a gift card themselves last year – stated that they had already received a gift card as a present.

Alongside the main reasons of a birthday (1st place)and Christmas (2nd place), gift cards are often used as a small gift (3rd place). The top sales channel for gift cards remains stationary retail. The top sales channel for gift cards remains stationary retail. However, with a clear rise in the number of people who buy them both on- and offline, the survey proves the increasing necessity of an omnichannel approach for selling gift cards while also identifying surprising obstacles to successful implementation including the finding that:

German consumers tend not to look online while they’re out shopping and will immediately go to another store if they experience any gaps in convenience, information or product range.

Trend study

A 10 percent increase in people buying gift cards both on- and offline proves
the increasing need for a multichannel approach

As part of the retail product range, the gift card is subject to megatrends such as omnichannel marketing as other products because more consumers are shopping both on- and offline. One in four gift card consumers will buy their gift card in stores on one occasion and online on another. The proportion of the people who buy gift cards both on- and offline has risen to 23 percent in comparison to 2018 (13 percent). The reasons people gave for their last gift card purchase in a stationary business were primarily direct availability (35 percent) and the option of combining the purchase with their regular shopping (26 percent),

whereas buying them online is mainly associated with the convenience of being able to purchase the gift card directly from home (52 percent).

Trend study

Disappointed consumers are disloyal consumers

Stationary retail remains the top location for card purchases with three out of four purchased (with the last gift card purchase) there with women (81 percent) buying gift cards in stores more often than men (72 percent).

However, card purchases in stores are more frequently pre-planned (81 percent) than online purchases (66 percent). Planning to purchase a specific card at a certain point in time directly determines the purchase behavior and the channel. If the consumer does not find the desired gift card in the store, 64 percent will seek it out in another stationary business.

Trend study

Growth opportunities in stationary retail as a result of targeted product range policy

„People walking off means missed revenue that can be reduced in a targeted way through suitable measures from category management or regional campaigns focusing on consumer needs.“

– Marc Ehler,
Managing Director epay Europe

The trend survey reveals additional problem-solving approaches: Those who purchase gift cards offline appreciate a large selection of different gift card values (81 percent) and want the cards to be clearly laid out (80 percent).

Consumers drawn into stores for information

Information-finding behavior plays into the hands of the offline retailer, because 53 percent of gift card purchasers find out about gift card offers directly on location at the retailer’s premises. A large number of suitable online and offline marketing measures and tools, such as epay’s new eKiosk, are already available to retailers at the point of sale. These can be used to address consumers across channels regarding specific offers in a targeted way.

Individualization is key in e-commerce

Individual design, and thus the opportunity to individualize the purchase process for retailers, is important for around a quarter of survey respondents when buying gift cards online. epay is already offering innovative solutions in the field of “digital gifting” to address this trend.

About the Survey

The new trend survey “Gift cards in the digital age” was conducted by POSpulse on behalf of epay and Plentyco as an online survey of 1,000 consumers.

„With the findings, we want to continuously show online and offline retailers developments in gift card use and sales potential with the merger of the physical and digital gift card world.“

– Marc Ehler,
Managing Director epay Europe

epay already works with approximately 334,000 retailers worldwide from the drugstore, electronics, telecommunications, bank and post office, gas station, convenience, e-commerce, and in particular food retail segments. The company will happily present the detailed findings personally to interested network partners and other retailers and develop tailor-made solutions for them.

About epay

epay is a world-leading full-service provider for payment processing and prepaid solutions that processed 1.15 billion transactions in 2018.

The company has built up an extensive network of retailers with 707,000 point-of-sale terminals in 47 countries, to connect renowned brands with consumers all around the world. The company offers a portfolio of gift cards (prepaid, closed loop and digital media), business incentives and payment solutions (card acceptance, terminals, e-commerce, mobile and Internet of Payment) for omnichannel commerce, and offers its services thanks to its proprietary cash register integration software.

epay is a division of Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: EEFT), a Kansas-based company which earned $2.5 billion in revenue in 2018, employing a staff of 7,100 employees and serving customers in 165 countries.

About Plentyco

Plentyco GmbH is the leading service provider for innovative and data-supported field-marketing & POS services, particularly for gift cards (POSA products) in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In just 10 years, Plentyco has accrued a staff of more than 50 experienced retail and project experts, increasing point-of-sale performance for brands, retailers, distributors, and system integrators at more than 44,000 points of sale.

Plentyco interlinks the potential of optimized supply chains and out-of-stock situations through digital proprietary POS tools and analytics systems for precise brand experience and more sales success. From its sites in Munich and Bern, Plentyco provides digitally supported services in food retail, consumer electronics, convenience and specialist retail channels for renowned national and international customers.

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Press contact

Jana Weisshaupt

PR & Communications

+49 89 899643-499