Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Digital Gift Cards to Overtake Plastic 1-2 Years

1-800-Flowers E-Card Expert Says Digital Wallets Herald End to Another Holiday Tradition
By Marc Dresner, Senior Editor, IIR
Like almost every other person I know who is not the parent of a young child, the 2014 holidays concluded with a stack of gift cards in place of a mountain of crumpled wrapping paper.
I’m not complaining, but if you’re the sentimental type like me, you probably get a little wistful looking at a Christmas tree that doesn’t have any presents under it.
My father-in-law still insists on hiding gift cards inside large, ornately wrapped boxes—sometimes it’s a series of boxes like those Russian nesting dolls—but the gag has gone a little stale and it annoys his wife to no end.
Friends of mine keep a pile of phony presents under their tree to achieve that nostalgic effect, which I find a little creepy and depressing.
At my home, we’ve taken to interspersing the cards in colored envelopes among the ornaments. We take turns hunting-and-plucking them from the tree on Christmas Day. 

It's less dramatic than a big box, but at least you get to scavenge for something with your name on it.
Now it looks like I may have to kiss that tradition good-bye, too.
Yes, friends, 2015 may be the beginning of the end for plastic gift cards.
Chris Adamo
According to Chris Adamo, Manager of Partnerships & Gift Cards, B2B, at 1-800-FLOWERS, e-cards will overtake plastic as the gift of choice within the next year, maybe two years.

“We’ve seen digital gift card sales triple in the past year.”

“For our brand as a whole we’ve seen digital gift card sales triple in the past year,” said Adamo, who has been developing e-cards in B2B for the online florist for several years.

Adamo says he expects digital wallet adoption to catalyze the migration to e-cards in the consumer space.

That’s good news for retailers, according to Adamo, who reports that digital gift cards have increased redemptions and purchases at 1-800-FLOWERS.

Digital cards are also perfectly suited to double as loyalty cards, says Adamo, which means a new level of access to customer information.

In this podcast for On Payments—the All Payments Expo (APEX) interview series—Adamo shares his experience and explains why it’s time for retailers to ramp up their e-card initiatives.
Editor’s note: Chris Adamo will be a featured speaker at APEX 2015—The All Payments Expo—taking place February 23-25 in Las Vegas.

For information, a brochure or to register for APEX, please visit www.allpaymentsexpo.com.

Ps. SAVE $100 of registration with promo code: XU2848BLOG

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market and consumer research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

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