Gift cards have taken over physical gifts, making up 14 percent of lockdown gifting compared to 12 percent of physical gifts.

According to the latest research from The Gift Card &Voucher Association (GCVA) in partnership with Globaldata, among 2,000 UK shoppers, 14 percent bought a gift card for somebody else. When asked about their motivation for switching to gift cards, 30 percent of shoppers responded that the heightened difficulty of purchasing physical gifts was the main motivator, as gift cards offer more convenience. Twenty-five percent opted for gift cards because they can be easily delivered to the recipient.

Around 21 percent of consumers chose gift cards as a token of support to their favourite business during challenging period. This goes in line with a growing trend among consumers who were more orientated towards brands that showed better customer service and loyalty

Most purchased gift cards are from retail, acquired by 44 percent of consumers, while 38 percent chooses multi-store gift cards. Gaming gift cards particularly rose in popularity, having been purchased by 24 percent of consumers. Experience gift cards which can be used for weekends getaways or local bars and restaurants were purchased by 10 percent of shoppers, which is reflective of the current public uncertainty.

Gail Cohen, director general of the GCVA, commented: “Some of the UK’s most popular gifting occasions, such as Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, fell during lockdown. To adhere to social distancing, consumers needed gifting solutions that minimise contact, could be sent instantly, and enjoyed at a later date. For this, as well as recognising our key workers and even keeping the nation fed, gift cards have been the perfect solution. 

“The pandemic has also given rise to a new, extremely interesting gifting trend, known as “sunny day gifting”, referring to when a gift card is purchased with the intention of being used at a later date once everyday life has returned to normal. As shops continue to reopen their doors and the leisure sector gears up for reactivation, we anticipate a major surge in footfall as customers flock to spend the gift cards they have bought or received in lockdown, offering a much-needed shot in the arm for the sector that could benefit businesses for months to come.” 

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