|According to a recent survey done by Swagbucks, a Los Angeles-based online rewards program, Amazon is the most preferred website by customers to buy gift cards.|
The introduction of gift cards in 1994, by Blockbuster Entertainment, has brought about a revolution among shopping enthusiasts. While initially they took time to gain their due share of attention, and many people considered them to be an insensitive gift option, now, according to the First Data Corp. survey, 93% people would rather receive a USD 25 gift card than an actual gift worth the same amount.
This revelation has brought smiles to those who consider buying an actual gift for their near and dear ones a baffling experience. Because of the freedom and flexibility gift cards tend to offer, and the popularity they have gained, this industry is now worth USD 100 billion! Each and every retailer, be it online, or at the brick and mortar stores, offers gift cards of different denominations to lure customers to make a purchase. Research reveals that the maximum number of buyers end up purchasing more than the authorized amount―making the scheme profitable for the sellers.
How to Choose the Right Gift Card
The holiday season is in full swing, and you must be wanting to buy awesome gift cards for your loved ones. The following section will take you through the important factors that you must consider when it comes to selecting the right gift card from the unlimited options available.
Selecting the Retailer
You might be confused regarding what to buy, but you must do some prior research on the recipient's likes and dislikes when it comes to, where to buy the gift from. If you take a careful look at their lifestyle, it will be easy for you to select the perfect retailer. A fashionista would love a gift card from an apparel and accessories store, while a work-laden co-worker would appreciate a weekend getaway gift card, a homemaker would love to receive gift cards from Walmart or Macy's, and teenagers would love have gift cards from Amazon or Starbucks.
Selecting the Denominations
A rather confusing decision while making the purchase, is to select the cost of the gift card. This depends on a lot of factors―retailer, number of recipients, and occasion. Giving a USD 25 gift card would be okay in case of Walmart, but if you give a gift card worth this amount for a Gucci store, it would appear to be more of an insult rather than a gift. Also, if the gift card is for a couple, the amount definitely needs to be more as compared to a single recipient.
Scrutinizing the Limitations
This happens to be a crucial point. While gift cards do offer freedom, it may be restricted. Carefully scrutinize these before making the purchase. Check for restrictions regarding validity, location, transferability, and other terms and conditions associated with it. It would be preferable to go for a gift card that has a longer validity and can be used at varied locations, perhaps, online. Be careful of those that can be used only at a specific location when the purchase is made in a physical store.
Seeking the Right Brands
As we have already informed you, Amazon happens to be the most preferred name for gift cards. The same survey has listed the following runner ups: Walmart (34%), Starbucks (25%), Target (24%), Best Buy (12%). However, these figures need not dominate your decision. What you must focus on is the preferences of the receiver. You may opt for e-gift cards, or physical gift cards, as per the recipient's preference. While today's highly tech-savvy teenagers and young adults wouldn't mind the electronic ones, a maximum percentage of people prefer physical gift cards, because it gives them a feeling of receiving a gift in the true sense of the word.
In the midst of the hectic schedule and the busyness that surrounds one and all, gift cards provide the much-needed ease. With the aforementioned points in mind, choosing the right gift card would be as a walk in a park. Just make sure you give it with a lot of love and thoughtfulness.