Gift Cards’ Appeal to Millennials

Gift cards are exceedingly popular with Millennials, as new research from the Wharton School’s Baker Retailing Center and The NPD Group found. Here is fresh insight as to why:

A study on generational shopping behavior by the Wharton School’s Baker Retailing Center and The NPD Group found that, based on customer receipts, gift cards are particularly popular with Millennials. Their share of wallet of gift cards is higher than that of other age groups at mass merchants, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs.

What could be driving Millennials’ preference for gift cards? Making up one-third of the U.S. population, Millennials are the largest and youngest shopper generation and will continue to be an important segment for gift card purchases. Thus, understanding the drivers of Millennials’ liking of gift cards may be useful.

To be sure, gift cards have become more popular with consumers in general. Sales in the U.S. have grown gradually over the past several years, reaching record sales of an estimated $130 billion last year, an increase of more than six percent from 2014, according to an annual study by CEB. For nine years in a row, gift cards were the most requested gift during this past holiday season, as a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) found, and almost three-quarters of respondents were planning to buy at least one gift card. One in six Americans received a Starbucks gift card during the 2015 holiday, an increase from one in seven in 2014. Further growth is expected, which retailers will welcome since gift cards generate store traffic, online and offline, including from new customers. Plus, most gift card users spend above the card’s face value.

This preference for gift cards as well as cash as gifts — a 2014 holiday survey by Deloitte found cash to be the second-most desired gift (35%), closely trailing gift cards (37%) — should also please economists since gift cards reduce or eliminate the loss that occurs when people give gifts that cost more than recipients value them. Joel Waldfogel coined the term “deadweight loss of Christmas” for this economic waste.

Continue reading for a list of factors that may contribute to gift cards' popularity with Millennials.

Denise Dahlhoff, PhD, is the Research Director of the Wharton School’s Baker Retailing Center, a research center in the retail, fashion, and e-commerce space.


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TAGS:   card services, Gift Card Services, trends


McDonald’s building loyalty program

McDonald’s Corp. is developing a loyalty program in the U.S., building upon the chain’s new smartphone app, that could be in place late this year or early next year, company executives said last Wednesday.

Speaking at the UBS Global Consumer Conference Wednesday morning, McDonald’s USA president Mike Andres said that the program could be a big sales driver for the Oak Brook, Ill.-based burger giant.

“We’re working on a customer-designed loyalty program that we think will be as good as there is out there in the marketplace,” Andres said.

McDonald’s released its app last year, which in many markets has a beverage loyalty offer that gives customers a free McCafé beverage after they’ve purchased five. The app has been downloaded 7.5 million times, Andres said, exceeding the company’s expectations.

Yet Andres said that McDonald’s new loyalty program would be “more robust,” and would be linked to consumer purchases, based perhaps on the number of visits customers make to the chain’s restaurants every month. Customers would likely have a limited time to take advantage of whatever deals the company offers through the program.

Such a move would be consistent with McDonald’s oft-stated belief in recent months that it needs to use technology to communicate more directly with customers.

Andres noted, for instance, that a loyalty program could entice customers to come in after they’ve been absent for a while. McDonald’s could use information it has on those customers’ buying habits to do the convincing.

Continue reading at Nation's Restaurant News Online.
Written by Jonathan Maze,


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TAGS:   Loyalty, Rewards and Membership, trends


Millennials don’t want a paycheck; they want a pay card

Roughly 5 million millennials do not have a checking account and are choosing unconventional banking options more than any other generation.

The same study — by The Center for Generational Kinetics and Global Cash Card — that produced the above findings also determined that the reason behind them is a distrust in banks, cited by 48 percent of millennials surveyed.

The study, "New Financial Reality: The Rise of Non-Traditional Wage Management," revealed that pay cards are viewed by this generation as a viable and beneficial solution to avoid traditional banking methods.

One-third of millennials — more than 29 million workers — found the concept of a paycard valuable; 64 percent said paycards should be offered by employers.

While choice of payment type was part of the appeal, pay cards were also identified as having a positive effect on financial habits.

Three-quarters of current users of pay cards described them as a tool that helps them save for retirement; roughly one-third of millennial workers — more than 18 million people — expect this would be the case if they received their wages on a pay card as well.

"The landscape of personal finance management, including pay, is shifting dramatically, and that change is being led by millennials," said Jason Dorsey, a researcher at the Center for Generational Kinetics. "In order to attract the best talent and meet the needs of this generation entering the workforce in record numbers, employers must embrace alternative payroll options."

Source: Mobile Payments Today, March 10, 2016
Study: The Center for Generational Kinetics and Global Cash Card


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TAGS:   Millennials, trends