2019 Small Business Gift Card Study Highlights Benefits to SMBs
Study finds 74% of consumers regularly buy gift cards from small businesses
90% of consumers who receive a gift card from a small business they have never visited said they would shop at that business and return in the future
Conducted in the spring of 2019 and originally commissioned by First Data, now
“Small business owners have a tremendous opportunity to boost revenue, foster customer loyalty, and strengthen their brand by investing in gift card programs,” said Dom Morea, senior vice president, Prepaid Solutions,
Small Businesses, Big Benefits
Gift cards aren’t just for big businesses. In fact, 74% of consumers surveyed said they regularly buy gift cards from small businesses, underscoring that gift cards have utility at coffee shops and corner stores and that customers expect them to be available for purchase and redemption. The benefits of gift cards can be significant, helping small businesses attract new customers and build relationships with repeat shoppers. According to the study:
- 90% of consumers who receive a gift card from a small business they have never visited said they would shop at that business and return there in the future
- 56% of surveyed consumers join loyalty or frequent shopper programs at small businesses. The same group said gift cards are the preferred way for their loyalty to be rewarded
- Nearly four out of five consumers surveyed said if they have a gift card valued at
88 cents, they’ll visit the store to redeem it.
Whether Giving or Receiving, Dining Wins
Consumer opinions can vary widely, but when it came to determining which business types they’d most want to give or receive a gift card from, they tended to agree. The most desired business types for small business gift cards were, in order of popularity:
- Casual dining restaurants
- Coffee shops
- Specialty services (such as nail salons and barber shops)
Digital vs. Physical
While digital gift cards continue to grow in popularity, physical gift cards are still preferred amongst consumers. Of those surveyed, 60% said they prefer physical gift cards or paper certificates to digital versions.
Among the 40% of consumers who said they prefer a digital gift card, the main reason was because they are quick and easy to send and receive. Other benefits of digital cards are their availability on smart devices, and the ability to easily check the card balance.
Viewpoints from Small Businesses
Small business owners surveyed were clear that simplicity and efficiency of implementation and operations were critical elements to a successful gift card program:
- The ability to integrate with a point-of-sale platform, such as Clover®, a cloud-based point-of-sale solution from
Fiserv, was the top benefit to small businesses
- One-third of businesses without a gift card option would add one if they thought it was easy to implement.
Director, External Communications