News

Sep
26
2016

Millennials Are Buying More Gift Cards Than Ever - For Themselves

New data suggests that they are buying more gift cards than ever before but then turning around the spending those cards on themselves.

 

Millennials and women are fueling a surge in sales of retailer-specific gift cards, but it seems that they are purchasing more of these gift cards for themselves than to give away to others, as more and more retailers and brands entice consumers with loyalty rewards when they purchase these types of gift cards through apps.

Mercator Advisory Group surveyed 3,009 U.S. adults in June of this year to examine the shift in gift card consumers to prepaid and rechargeable cards issued directly from retailers.

The study found that these types of consumers are steadily growing. Of those surveyed, 63 percent bought these types of cards this year, compared to 61 percent in 2015 and 56 percent in 2014.

Retailer-specific cards are now the most popular types of gift cards, too, with 45 percent of U.S. adults having purchased some form of them this year, up from 41 percent in 2015.

Millennials, specifically those between the ages of 25 and 34, seem to be fueling the rise in the purchase of retailer-specific gift cards, as three out of every five of the young adults surveyed reported buying at least one in the past year — an increase from 2015’s survey, as only about half of millennials reported buying the cards then.

Interestingly enough, with the rise of smartphones, eCommerce and the increasing popularity of retailer-specific gift cards, these types of cards are beginning to function more as a form of currency themselves than as a gift-giving method.

“As retailers introduce new mobile apps, often with mobile payment options that include their retailer prepaid cards, young adults begin to buy retailers cards for their own use, so the cards are becoming a primary payment tool and not just used as gifts,” according to the study.

Women also seem more likely to purchase retailer-specific gift cards than their male counterparts, with 49 percent reporting they purchased at least one this year, compared to only about 40 percent of men. Still, Mercator Advisory Group did note that the number of men purchasing retailer-specific gift cards has “grown steadily” since the firm began tracking the number in 2013.

Also spurring the rise of retailer-specific gift cards, many of the retailer apps’ digital loyalty programs offer consumers free money, in-store points or deals for re-upping or refilling the gift cards, which many millennials seem to be using as a way to stretch their dollars in stores, while push notifications are easily used to remind the consumer that their card is empty or that they might be missing out on a hot, new deal.

“Retailers are introducing more mobile-based apps and offers when using their loyalty and prepaid programs, which may be fueling this growth in retailer gift card purchases,” according to Karen Augustine, manager of Primary Data at Mercator Advisory Group and the author of the report. “Young adults continue to lead this mobile revolution and growing use of prepaid cards as a money management tool.”

Gift cards, thanks in large part to retailer-specific incentives and loyalty rewards programs designed to entice customers to spend more of their dollars on that specific brand or retailer, appear to be enticing consumers to do just that in greater numbers than ever before.

And the gift card seems to be shifting from a token given to friends or families around the holidays or out of appreciation into a practical form of currency for many of today’s savvier young shoppers.

 

Source: PYMNTS.com - September 8, 2016

MEDIA CONTACT:
KATY LASEE | MARKETING DEPT.
651 554 8533
KRLasee@traveltags.com

TAGS:   card services, Millennials, trends

Sep
23
2016

21,000 Olive Garden Pasta Passes Sold Out in Less Than One Second

That's a lot of fettuccine alfredo!

Less than one second after making their triumphant return to the marketplace, all 21,000 of Olive Garden’s Never-Ending Pasta Passes were snapped up by thousands of people who are apparently unfamiliar with the phrase “too much of a good thing.” To put it in perspective, that’s enough Alfredo-slurping, breadstick-wielding Pasta Pass holders to fill Madison Square Garden.

Pasta Pass holders will be able to gorge themselves on seven weeks’ worth of unlimited pasta, soup or salad, breadsticks, and soda, as often as they want — or are physically capable of? — between October 3 through November 20.

Last year, Olive Garden offered 2,000 passes, all of which were claimed in less than a minute. This year, the chain opted to sell 21,000 in honor of its 21st anniversary — and seemingly could have sold many more.

Sales went live on Thursday at 2 p.m. EST. According to a spokesperson, the first 21,000 people to click “purchase” were able to claim their Pasta Passes: “Everyone else received the sold out message, which for them occurred in less than one second/immediately.”

There are still a handful of passes left — though those who want one will have to duke it out on eBay, where 21 are currently being auctioned to benefit Feeding America. Fair warning: Prices are already well past the original $100, with some bidding as high as $810.

Now the question remains: Will any of this year’s Pasta Pass holders be able to eat more chicken Alfredo than OG superfan Alan Martin, who in 2014 consumed some $1,840 worth of Olive Garden pasta in just seven weeks?

Source: Eater.com, by Virginia Chamlee - September 16, 2016

 

A Team Effort

The success of the Olive Garden Never-Ending Pasta Pass wouldn't be possible without the collaboration of several vendors who work regularly with Darden Brands. Travel Tags, Inc. had the pleasure of partnering with Darden Brands (Olive Garden) for another year on the card production and fulfillment of the Never-Ending Pasta Pass. We're honored to be part of an impressive group of vendors who can implement such a successful marketing campaign as the Never-Ending Pasta Pass, year after year!

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
KATIE SINSKY | MARKETING DEPT.
651 554 8533
KRLasee@traveltags.com 

TAGS:   card fulfillment, card manufacturing, Gift Card Services, Loyalty, Rewards and Membership, trends

Aug
26
2016

eBay Sells Gift Cards for Gifting Company Stock

Offering gift cards is nothing new for eBay, but on Monday it began carrying a very different type of gift card - one that allows recipients to purchase shares of stock in publicly-traded companies.

 

 

"eBay and Stockpile have teamed up to make it easier than ever to access the US stock market," according to the announcement. "With the launch of Stockpile gift cards on eBay's US marketplace, eBay becomes one of the first ecommerce companies to offer this new category of digital gift cards for stock."

eBay has launched a new wine category and live-auctions in recent years, and eBay CEO Devin Wenig has been hinting that new categories were coming. But as with other new categories, don't expect to be able to sell the items yourself.

In fact, to be clear, no one is selling actual shares of stock on eBay. Rather, PayPal Digital Gifts is selling Stockpile gift cards on the marketplace - and shoppers go to the Stockpile site to consummate the trade.

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore pointed EcommerceBytes to the eBay Gift Card policy. "We allow PayPal to sell third party retailers' electronically delivered gift cards on eBay. Because we believe that PayPal's digital platform allows buyers to purchase these items on eBay in the most risk-free way, PayPal is currently the only entity allowed to sell electronically-delivered gift cards on eBay."

Shoppers who purchase them pay more than the value of the card. Currently PayPal Digital Gifts is selling a $25 gift card delivered via email for $29.95 and a $50 gift card for $56.95.

The description explains, "If you redeem a $50 gift card and the stock price is $100 when you redeem, you'll get half a share of stock."

General Manager for Gift Cards at eBay Wafa Dahel said Monday, "We're proud to be one of the first ecommerce companies in the nation to offer gift cards for stock, a new category for eBay. This innovative and unique gifting idea of stock speaks volume to what eBay is about - smart, fun and engaging with our customers."

 

Source: ecommercebytes.com, August 16, 2016 -- Ina Steiner

MEDIA CONTACT:
KATY LASEE | MARKETING DEPT.
651 554 8533
KRLasee@traveltags.com

TAGS:   Gift Card Services