Rise of the Gift Card: Millennials & Digital Gifting

Consumer habits are always changing but it seems that Millennials have completely transformed typical shopping habits which could be attributed to the rise of technology and the internet along with social trends. There are many ways that their shopping habits differ to the generations that have come before them but the most notable is their penchant for buying gift cards as presents.

The Popularity of Gift Cards

A study revealed that 39% of the surveyed Millennials purchased an e-gift card at least once every three months compared to just 26% of Gen X consumers and 14% of baby boomers. Additionally, 72% of the surveyed Millennials claim to have used e-gift cards and have tried or used alternative payment methods.

Flexibility

So, what is the reason for this lean towards gift cards as a form of present? Gift cards were once seen as an easy and thoughtless gift but Millennials and much younger generations prefer to both give and receive this type of gift because of the flexibility. In a time where people expect personalization and are very picky about what they want, it is much better to receive a gift card than it is to risk buying something that they would not like.

A Commonly Understood Notion

It is better to give a gift that you know the recipient would like than to buy something which you are unsure about and a gift card is a great way to do this. Millennials and younger generations seem to understand this notion amongst themselves which means that receiving a gift card can be seen as more thoughtful and valuable than a physical present. This is an interesting turn because the opposite was the common view held not too long ago which goes to show how societal and generational trends and changes can influence consumerism.

Handwritten Cards

Although the younger generations are not exchanging as many gifts, that is not to say that they are not sentimental. Although many Millennials claim never to have sent a greetings card, statistics show that they are the generation that are buying the most cards. This could be due to the fact that this group are so used to digital communication that a handwritten card feels much more valuable and a better way to communicate emotion. Therefore, it is likely that they are purchasing greetings cards from places like Card Factory for larger occasions like Christenings rather than a birthday.

The rise of technology and the internet along with societal changes have had a huge impact on the way in which people shop particularly for the Millennial generation. Gift cards have previously been viewed as a present which not much thought has been put into and lazy but these are now a preferred gift because it provides such flexibility to the recipient. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years in terms of physical presents, gift cards, greetings cards and whether there are any other large changes on the horizon.

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