Waiting in lines
Dealing with crowds
Not knowing what to buy
or buying the wrong gift
1. Grocery and convenience
2. Entertainment and travel
3. Health and beauty
4. Home goods
The 2019 BrandedPay Holiday Shopping Preview report identifies trends from Blackhawk’s own U.S. sales data in addition to insights from Blackhawk’s latest research report based on responses from more than 3,000 consumers.
Gift cards are an investment in future shopping and one of the best opportunities to drive first quarter sales. Consumers spend about $32 more than the value of a gift card, and with the projected increase in gift card sales this holiday season, we are excited to see those gift cards drive traffic back to retailers for a strong start to the year.
Shoppers plan on purchasing gifts for an average of 8 people
While overall holiday spending is expected to remain relatively flat with most consumers only anticipating a slight increase on overall gift spend, we project a 7% increase in gift card spending over 2018.
of holiday gifting budgets will be spent on gift cards
average shoppers expect to spend on gift cards this year
of shoppers plan to buy at least one gift card or egift this holiday season, up from 72% in 2018
Blackhawk’s research found that many of the biggest frustrations for holiday shoppers this year can be avoided by giving gift cards. Purchasing gift cards in-store or online can help alleviate top pain points identified by shoppers surveyed:
The five gift card categories that were best-selling among U.S. consumers in December 2018 based on Blackhawk’s sales data are:
Gift cards that can be used where the network is accepted
Brand categories each generation likes the most:
Restaurant, online retailer & home improvement
“Retail Trends and Transformations” is an online survey conducted by Murphy Research on behalf of Blackhawk Network between February 4-12, 2019 and included a samples size of 3,381 respondents between the ages of 18 and 75.
Digital gift cards are closing the gap
Physical gift cards remain the first choice among customers overall, but digital continues to gain traction.
of shoppers plan to buy digital gift cards this year, so 18% over 2018
The digital gift card categories that shoppers prefer most according to Blackhawk’s research are:
The gift card categories that people tend to purchase in the highest denominations according to Blackhawk sales data include:
*The 2019 BrandedPay Holiday Shopping Preview Report is based on the findings in our “Pre-holiday Sentiment Study,” an internet-based survey conducted by Murphy Research on behalf of Blackhawk Network between August 2–9, 2019. The sample size included over 3,000 respondents ages 18+. Gift card category findings are based on 2017 and 2018 sales data from Blackhawk Network from over 50,000 merchant locations across the United States.
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After Blackhawk saw double digit growth in U.S. online holiday gift card sales last year and with new products and distribution channels in 2019, ecommerce is poised to continue its growth into this year’s shopping season.
The gift card categories (physical and digital) that are fastest growing based on year-over-year U.S. sales data are: