Gift Cards at Christmas: Do They Bring Joy or Just Annoy? [Survey]
Don’t look now, but Christmas is just days away.
As the 25th draws nearer, those racks of gift cards inside stores will only become more enticing to weary holiday shoppers. Out of options and out of time, many, no doubt, will turn to the convenience and predictability of “plastic money.”
The National Retail Federation tells us gift cards could fetch upwards of $26 billion this year. As gaudy as this figure sounds, holiday shoppers in 2015 are actually expected to spend less on gift cards for the first time since 2009.
Some are even beginning to question the staying power of gift cards. Early holiday selling events, social media, and other developments are, in some respects, making Christmas shopping easier—and gift cards less necessary.
Gift Cards: The Give & Take
So to more fully understand Americans’ attitudes toward giving and receiving gift cards at Christmastime, Field Agent recently surveyed 500 holiday shoppers/gift-recipients. Below we present the results as a quick Q&A.
1. Boom or Bust? Do Americans think gift cards make good holiday presents?
Generally speaking, most believe gift cards make fine holiday presents. 86% of women and 75% of men more or less agreed with the statement: “I believe gift cards make good Christmas gifts.”
2. Why are some cold toward gift cards?
Among those who disagreed with the above statement (n = 67), 74% said gift cards make poor presents because they “lack creativity and thought.” An additional 41% insisted gift cards are “cold and impersonal” as well as “limited in where they can be used.”
3. Physical gift, gift card, or money? Which would Americans rather receive at Christmastime?
Gift-recipients are sharply divided on this one. While 39% indicated they’d rather unwrap a physical gift, 35% said they’d prefer cash—“show me the money,” they said. At 26%, gift cards came in last.
4. And which would they rather give? Physical gift, gift card, or money?
Curiously, the presents people most like to receive are not necessarily the presents they most like to give. 67% told us they’d prefer to give physical gifts at Christmas, whereas 28% would rather give gift cards. And what about cash? Only 5% said they’d prefer to give money.
The Mobile Research Difference
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