Digital Gift Cards: A Love-Hate Relationship

Digital Gift Cards: A Love-Hate Relationship

Back in 2012, when we needed to justify the raise of seed funds for Jifiti, a gifting company, we conducted the following experiment:

We sampled 86 random potential gift givers and gave them two options, send a gift card or one of these specially curated selection of giftable items.

The overwhelming majority (92%!!) chose to send one of the items we presented as a gift.

Their reasons varied but all had a common core – a physical/tangible gift, to them, seemed to convey more thought and care than a plastic card or digital code.

But here is where it gets interesting…


“Love thy neighbor” with a Gift Card?

We then switched their position in the experiment and had them role play a potential gift recipient.

We displayed the same choices, gift card or those very same gifts presented to them previously as gifters.

Our subjects chose gift cards!

Those very same participants who previously took sentiment and appearance into account and made quick decisions accordingly, now preferred the faceless and generic gift card.

Here too, their reasoning was solid and mostly uniform, it’s the flexibility and transferable value they’re after.

Now, this may not sound politically correct, but it absolutely is what consumers are looking for. But, if there is such a dichotomy between the gifter’s inclination and a giftee’s preference 

– how do we bridge the gap?


Solving the gifting enigma

The answer lies in presentation.

Allowing consumers to communicate feelings while guaranteeing the gift recipient’s ultimate satisfaction has worked for us and for our clients.

We allow gifters to choose a ‘suggested gift’ and send it digitally to the recipient. The recipient will then decide how, when and where to redeem it essentially using a digital gift card.

This achieved precisely what all parties are looking for, the gifter gets to show some loving care and the recipient is free to choose how, when, where and even ‘what’ to redeem as a gift. We implemented exactly according to our learnings from our experiment.


Searching for solutions? Ask!

This is a terrific example of how you can cater to the specific needs and ‘wants’ of your customers. Instead of spending precious time and resources on a guessing game, we simply asked the customers for their preference.

What seemed to be an enigma, turned out to be simple, straight forward, and incredibly simple to implement due to the digital gift card infrastructure that already exists.

This user flow helps potential gifters get through the funnel with ease and confidence. On some gifting platforms that we operate we have achieved an unprecedented 50% conversion rate from start to finish!


Added Value

Another bonus? Since this is all predicated on existing gift card infrastructure, we are able to launch platforms from start to finish within 3 weeks, while other solutions require 6 months’ worth of integration work.

We sometimes go to great lengths and invest significant resources in trying to solve problems only to find out that the simplest and cheapest route is actually what customers desire.

This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

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