Profiting from the $120 Billion Gift Card Industry

When was the last time you gave or received a gift card? It was probably just recently, and even more important… it was probably well received.

The business of gift cards is extremely profitable and is now a $100+ BILLION industry. It was recently reported that around 25% of all holiday gifts will be returned after they are received. The great thing about gift cards is that once they are given, the receiver can spend them on whatever they want… however, the clear winner in the world of gift cards are the businesses and processing companies behind them.

Before we jump into more details stats and some infographics, let’s first take a look at some quick stats (source

  • 8 – 10% of businesses offers Gift Cards. 
  • 10 – 18% of all Gift Cards go unused.
  • On average $40 is spent on Gift Cards
  • 55% of Gift Cards recipients need more than one trip to deplete their card value.
  • 25% purchase items they had not plan to spend money on.
  • 85% add an average of $17.70 out of their own wallets when redeeming Gift Cards.

I feel the most important stat here is that 10-18% of gift cards go unused. Unfortunately I have first hand experience of forgetting about gift cards, only later to find them and see that their balances have dwindled away over time, or even worse… I simply misplaced the gift card!

These unused funds are known as “spillage”, which actually results in BILLIONS in profit for retailers annually.

The Gift Card Business is Booming!

With more people buying online and using email and digital methods for sending/receiving gifts, gift cards are quickly becoming the number one choice for consumer gifting… and not only during the holiday season.

In 2014, $124 billion was loaded on gift cards in the U.S. — this year (2015) we will likely see gift card purchases surpass the $138 billion mark.

For more fun statistics and how your business card start increasing revenue and profits with gift card, check out the infographic below, provided by CBE.

Gift Cards Infographic

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