By Blackhawk Network APAC
For years, Blackhawk Network has worked with NAPCO Research to take a comprehensive view of merchant gift card offerings, looking at both in-store and online experiences. By looking at what other top retailers are doing (and not doing), we help companies like yours see how your gift card program compares, and what you can do to make things better.
This year, for the first time, NAPCO assessed the gift card programs of 50 retailers in Australia. They used 170 criteria to evaluate expected and emerging capabilities for merchants’ digital and physical gift card offerings through desktop eCommerce/digital, mobile website, mobile app and brick-and-mortar stores, with a focus on the consumer and recipient experience.
Why is this new research important?
The gift card opportunity—for retailers of all sizes—is big.
By 2026, the global gift card market is estimated to be AUD 980.9 billion, and it’s growing at a rate of 9.02% 1
To give that some context, that means the gift card market would exceed Mexico’s GDP (gross domestic product), the 15th largest economy in the world.
This isn’t just a few people buying or receiving the bulk of the gift cards, either. Almost everybody is in on the action.
82% have received a gift card in the past year.2
And things are only looking up for the gift card business. As the world shifts from epidemic to endemic, more and more people will be wanting to reconnect with friends and family. This will drive (and has been driving) a surge in prime gift card celebrations, like birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, winter holidays and simply saying thank you.
Here’s another bonus for gift card merchants like you: Revenue impact goes beyond the initial gift card purchase amounts. When recipients come to your store with their gift cards, most will spend more than the value of the card—often, much more.
Let’s look at a few of the Australia-specific findings from the new NAPCO report.3
eCommerce/Digital findings for Aussie merchants
In assessing eCommerce/digital/online aspects of their gift card programs, Aussie merchants did very well. By incorporating functions such as an effective site search, Australian merchants earned nearly full credit in this category.
Of course, there’s always room for growth. Aussie merchants can improve their gift card programs in this category by, among other things, better delivering on consumers’ increasing expectations for personalised and custom shopping experiences.
In-Store findings for Aussie merchants
A strength of Aussie merchants’ in-store experience is that they are marketing their own gift cards more prominently than other brands’ gift cards in-store, both within fixtures and checkstands. This is good for the merchants’ brand—and for business.
Conversely, there was a lack of variety for merchants’ own gift cards at checkstands. Wherever possible, you should draw attention for your brand’s gift cards by offering a wide variety of design options (e.g., packaging, faceplates and occasion-specific designs, such as Happy Birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.). As mentioned earlier, today’s shoppers like more of a customer shopping experience.
Mobile findings for Aussie merchants
Aussie merchants were strong in terms of accepting mobile payments (PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.) and processing mobile payments, providing customers the flexibility they want. They also did a good job of communicating to those customers that they accept mobile payments.
Australia has been slower to adopt apps, however, than other countries. We’ve uncovered great insights from the NAPCO research. Only 2 out of the 50 Australian retailers assessed had an mobile app selling gift cards. Apps present a huge opportunity for marketing gift cards to your brand’s most loyal customers.
B2B findings for Aussie merchants
While consumers buy a ton of gift cards, there is a huge opportunity to sell your gift cards in a B2B program. This is a large untapped market for many brands and should be a part of any gift card program. Many businesses are now looking for corporate gifting options—to bulk buy gift cards—to reward their employees or sales teams.
In fact, NAPCO found that 60% of the Aussie merchants evaluated did not have a B2B gift card program. Corporate gift cards are a substantial (and proven) growth driver and should not be overlooked.
Get the whole Aussie NAPCO story
Want to learn more? Want detailed insights and best practices from Australia’s retailers for In-store, mobile, eCommerce and more? Want more tips and best practices to help your gift card program grow?
Just download the detailed in-depth Australian NAPCO Research report here.
Talk to Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network is a pioneer and global leader in gift cards and gift card programs. And we’re just a phone call away.
So, when you’re ready to use what you’ve learned from the NAPCO Research report, let’s talk. We can help you get started, optimise your program or manage the entire thing from start to finish. Just click here or call 1300 883 667.
- PAYNXT 360 2022 Research
- Australia NAPCO Research Merchant Gift Card Evaluation, 2022