Consumers are increasingly cashing in on gift cards and loyalty programmes, according to the Carat from Fiserv Q2 2024 Gift Card Gauge. In particular, there is a rising trend towards the integration of loyalty and gift card programmes. Fiserv says the trend continues to rise with 74% of consumers taking advantage of gift card loyalty incentives in the past year. And some 71% downloaded a merchant app to manage rewards, gift cards and more.

Carat from Fiserv Q2 2024 Gift Card Gauge key takeaways

Consumers are adopting merchant apps for convenience and savings. Of the many benefits merchant apps offer, 69% of consumers say their favourite benefit is the opportunity for increased savings. Similarly, 62% of consumers download merchant apps because they provide more opportunities to earn rewards.

Digital wallets are a popular way to store gift cards digitally. 60% of consumers say these wallets make gift cards easier to use, 55% say they provide more convenience and 44% say they enhance security

Consumers are hungry for gift card incentives

With inflation impacting consumer spending, many shoppers are prioritising incentives for necessities over entertainment. Food-related businesses are the most preferred place to receive gift card loyalty incentives. Grocery is chosen as the preferred option by 58% of consumers and restaurants by 42%. These types of incentives can provide much-needed relief to rising food costs. Retail Stores (40%), Entertainment (34%) and Drug Stores (29%) were other popular options.

Loyalty incentives drive consumer decisions

80% of consumers say they have decided at least once where to shop based on gift card loyalty incentives. Some 16% indicate they “always” factor in these incentives. Incentives consumers most value include the conversion of loyalty points into gift cards (56%), bonus points on gift card spend (54%), and gift card reload bonuses within an app (46%).

Consumers want a balance between personalisation and privacy

While 67% of consumers are willing to share personal information with a brand in order to earn incentives, they do have limits. Over half of consumers have distanced themselves from a brand they felt was too invasive. 62% have been driven away by too many notifications on their mobile phone. Meantime, 58% are driven away by excessive reminders/recommendations. And 57% said the app wanted access to too much data on their device.

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