Is the ‘Experience’ of Unwrapping a Gift Card REALLY that Important?” by Holly Glowaty, US

By Holly Glowaty, EVP of Merchants at Prizeout


If you asked me, “Is the ‘experience’ of unwrapping a gift card REALLY that important?” this time last year, I would have said yes. But that was before everything we knew about how to connect with each other and show appreciation changed. That was before we all started buying online and picking up in store. That was before NFT’s.

Have you heard about NFT’s? Its cryptocurrency attached to content. It might be digital art. It might be a video of LeBron James dunking that sold for $208,000.00. Or it could be Jack Dorsey’s tweet that sold for $2.5 Million… that’s right, TWO POINT FIVE MILLION DOLLARS FOR A SCREENSHOT OF THE FIRST TWEET. No one owns any rights to it. It’s like a trading card… or dare I say, it’s like a gift card?

If you don’t know what an NFT is, it is a Non-Fungible Token, meaning it is unique and cannot be exchanged for something else. So, unlike a gift card, the value of the NFT cannot be exchanged for goods or services. BUT like a digital gift card, there is a sum of money attached to an image or video. There is digital trophy value to the image or video, in a way many of us in the gift card industry argued could never be achieved in an online environment. But with the rise of NFT’s there is a real chance to actually create even more value with gift cards, and honestly, some people in our industry have already gotten the ball rolling.

Let us look at Disney. In 2019 they rolled out a special limited edition gift card to celebrate Mickey’s 90th Birthday. It was $300 but held only $90 in fungible value. $210 was for the gift card art itself. Granted this was a physical card, but I would argue, it was the first step towards creating value with the artwork on the card itself. Using that space to make even more money for the company.

We all have a chance to do this now, digitally, with NFT’s. NFT’s are simply celebrating the iconic. Many brands have driven these iconic moments for us over the years. Your gift card is the perfect place to take old images and make them worth something.

I could imagine department stores digging into their old catalogues and pulling out images from some of the first runs, and selling them as an NFT, with stored value attached (sell the image for 500 dollars/pounds/euros and 100 of that could be usable at your store) … or let’s go ahead think about 80’s fashion images, I am sure there are some gems in there that people would pay for! Old commercial clips? You name it! This year has shown us that unwrapping, and trophy value have taken on a new form- and it is digital.


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