Digital gift cards, or e-cards, are purchased online and sent to recipients via email. The cards have become increasingly popular during the past few years by serving busy consumers who need to do some last-minute holiday shopping and may not have time to send an actual gift card.
RSR’s report evaluates digital gift card offerings from the Internet Top 100 Retailers, using 22 criteria, including the comprehensiveness of the offering, the selection experience, the purchase experience and the recipient experience.
Amazon and The Gap/L.L. Bean rounded out the report’s list of the top five retailers cited as having the best digital gift cards.
RSR says the retailers taking the top spots generally list their offerings prominently on their websites, notify a buyer when the gift is delivered and eliminate the need to enter in any shipping information.
The report says more retailers should offer the opportunity to personalize a gift or greeting, citing top-ranked Home Depot, which lets buyers record a video message for the gift card recipient. It also suggests offering e-cards through social networks, like Best Buy does, or through mobile apps, like REI, Lowe’s, Victoria’s Secret, Amazon and JCPenney do.
“Consumers will expect mobile digital gift-card offerings, and retailers who offer personalized digital gift cards will continue to enjoy significant differentiation,” says Nikki Baird, RSR Research analyst and co-author of the report.
RSR Research found, overall, that the number of retailers offering digital gift cards increased 47% during the past year, with 59 of the top 100 retailers offering them.