Gift Card Industry


To obtain 3-5 trends in the gift card industry. This information will be used in developing a strategy to capitalize on the gift card and digital gift giving space.

Early Findings


  • The gift card industry includes "gift certificates, gift vouchers, gift tokens, and others, which are generally issued by a retailer or bank as a developmental strategy used for promoting businesses, attract new customers, increase brand awareness, reduce fraud and improve sales. "
  • The global gift card industry was valued at $619.25 billion in 2019, and is expected to reach $1.92 trillion by 2027.
  • Other estimates provide the market size to be $1 trillion in 2020, and is projected to reach $2.7 trillion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 14.5% between 2020 and 2027.
  • The U. S. accounts for over 26.9% of the global market at $278.8 billion.

Trends Shaping the Gift Card Industry

Rise in Digital Gift Cards/E-Gifting

  • Progressively, consumers have been steadily shifting from "paper gift vouchers to digital ones."
  • In 2017, about 65% of consumers bought digital gift cards without any advertising, compared to 33% of consumers in 2016..
  • This year, in the U.K., "digital and eVoucher sales grew by 49.7% on a rolling year basis, while sales of physical gift cards continued to retreat. Indeed, the market share for digital products increased to 30.2% in the first half of 2020, up from 17.1% in the same period last year. "
  • This trend was enhanced by the lock-down occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The e-gifting segment currently accounts for 11% of the global gift card market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.5% in the next 7 years.

Rise in Gifting Culture

  • Gift cards are emerging as a popular gifting option for festive occasions and birthdays.
  • Gift cards make for perfect gifts during occasions as "apart from buying personalized gifts, they can also be used in restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets, department stores, specialty stores, and cafes."
  • The rising number of family/work occasions, and the holiday seasons are becoming the biggest contributors to the sales of gift cards.
  • For example in the U.S., "Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holiday are the most popular festive seasons where gift cards are used for giving and receiving gifts."
  • Globally, there are recorded sales surges for gift cards during festivals and other special days, such as Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Growth in the Open Loop Cards Segment

  • The open loop gift cards are growing in popularity. For example, the Canadian open-loop prepaid market grew by 27% between 2015 and 2018.
  • Globally, the open loop card segment is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR of 17.1% between 2020 and 2027.

Rise in Corporate Gifting

  • Companies are increasingly using gift cards to recognize the contributions and achievements of employees, as they are considered convenient and safe, and novel.
  • For example in the U.K., in the first half of 2020, "while business-to-consumer (B2C) sales fell significantly when compared to the same period in 2019 (-32.2%), business-to-business (B2B) sales like those used by employers to reward staff actually grew by 8.2%."

Increase in Product Categories for Gift Cards

  • In order to stay ahead of the competition, companies are actively collaborating with technology solutions providers to launch gift cards.
  • For example entertainment companies are launching e-gift cards for "content across major online and retail marketplaces;" and "electronic device manufactures are also launching gift card programs on their websites to increase the sales of products such as smartphones, smart devices, televisions, and accessories."

Proprietary Research Available

We found some proprietary research from one of our data partners which may be helpful:
  • Global Gift Card Market 2020-2024 (Technavio, $2,500)
  • Research Topic: Market Segmentation by Type ($1,496.45)
  • Research Topic: Drivers, Challenges and Trends ($2.012.50)
If you'd like us to purchase any of these reports on your behalf, just let us know!

Summary of Findings

  • During this preliminary hour of research, we were able to provide several trends that are shaping the gift card industry.
  • We have assumed a global focus. If a more targeted approach is desired, for example, the U.S., this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply.

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