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Plastic Gift Cards and E-Gift Cards – The Truth

Posted by Bryan Wang
As a merchant you may have implemented a plastic gift card program and are now hearing about the popularity of e-gift cards as well. Do not think that your plastic gift card program is archaic or out of style. Instead note that an e-gift card program can enhance and work well with the plastic gift card program you already have in place.

Here we go over how both types of gift card programs differ and compare and contrast the two, helping you stay informed on the differences and benefits between the two.

There is no doubt that e-gift cards are a convenient gift-giving option. E-gift cards, such as the ones provided by Givex, are a popular option among harried gift-givers because they can be easily bought from any device and emailed right away to the recipient.  E-gift cards have become increasingly popular recently during times that consumers are time-crunched, with data showing that e-gift card sales grew 10% in the 2014 Christmas season compared to the 2013 Christmas season.  In fact in 2014 in the 6 days leading up to Christmas, 88% of total gift card sales were of e-gift cards with December 24 being the highest sales day for e-gift cards. As a merchant you should be aware that having a mobile e-gift card website through which consumers can order their e-gift cards is key. 72% of consumers have purchased a gift card online or through mobile means, and 50% of consumers state that they would prefer to have a digital gift card scanned from their mobile device rather than have an email printout. Being able to order a gift card online, while on the go is a must for consumers increasingly looking for fast and easy gift giving options.

But did you know that with tools such as third party gift malls and online ordering, plastic gift cards can be a very convenient option for your customers as well? Third party sales entail your brand’s gift cards being made available through ‘gift card malls’. They are placed in high traffic retailers such as drugstores and supermarkets where shoppers can easily pick them up without having to visit your location. Consumers prefer third party gift card malls for multiple reasons. These reasons include; choosing from a broad assortment of gift card options, having their desired gift card available to them when there is no retail location near them and wanting to make an impulse purchase. In fact during the holiday season 22% of gift card purchasers stated that they bought a gift card from a third party vendor.

Beyond this making your plastic gift cards available through a custom skinned website will also increase convenience levels for shoppers as well as cater to those who wish to give a physical gift card to their loved ones. Do not think that the creation and implementation of this custom skinned website is a long, cumbersome process that will require you to be technically savvy. With a provider such as Givex you will be provided a website made to look like your existing website for an affordable price in a short amount of time.

Brand Publicity

Don’t miss out on any chance to spread awareness about your brand. Both plastic and e-gift cards serve to get the word out about your products and services. In fact a dual approach to your gift card program can get to access to a wide demographic of potential customers. For example 89% of consumers who wanted mobile e-gift card programs during the holidays were Millennials aged 18-35, while 24% of those who are plastic gift card enthusiasts are women and men in their 40’s (however this group is also open to e-gift cards). Your loyal customers and brand fans should have as many routes as possible to share word about your products and services to their networks. In fact in the US 41% of consumers tried a retail store, restaurant or hotel for the first time because they received a gift card for that business. Additionally 72% of consumers who tried a business for the first time because they received a gift card to that business, returned to that business again to make additional purchases. While offering one type of gift card program is great, providing both types of gift card programs is best.


You may be wondering which type of gift card program – plastic or digital is easier to implement. Perhaps you are wary of the logistics and time commitment you think is required with a plastic gift card program or you feel not tech-savvy enough to administer an online portal for an e-gift card program.It is important to know that your competition is not letting these concerns serve as a barrier between them and successful gift card program implementation and the increased sales that gift cards and e-gift cards bring.

The ease of which either a gift card or e-gift card program can be implemented depends on how experienced your gift card provider is. With a proven gift card provider with 15+ years of experience like Givex the details and the overarching logistics are taken care for you. Givex manages the entire gift card process , leaving you with very little to worry about. For example Givex’s fulfillment facility has been developed specifically to meet the needs of our clients’ gift cards and collateral. With Givex you experience the peace of mind and data integrity that comes when all information, from order placement to card activation, flows through one seamless system.

An e-gift card program is easy and affordable to implement with the right provider.  Givex can help you quickly  create a mobile friendly, e-gift card website which matches your existing website, through which your customers can order their e-gift cards. Givex e-gift cards can be customizable and personalized by the customer with their own photos or via a selection of provided graphics and images.

As merchant all you need for Givex to set you up with an e-gift card program is a website or web integration.

In today’s shopping environment where consumer spending is depressed due to static income, it is important to employ both plastic and e-gift cards to boost brand visibility and drive sales.

Contact Givex to easily start either or both programs for you!

Topics: Gift Cards