Gift giving is a tradition that dates back thousands of years and, as social creatures, it’s a proven way for us to express our feelings, whether it is an expression of love, appreciation of a job well done, or gratitude for a supportive friend. During the Egyptian era, gifts were given to pharaohs who would store them in the massive pyramids for the afterlife. In Roman times, people would present each other with good luck tokens. And in the medieval age, gifts were given to secure the alliance of a king or lord in times of war. Today, gifts are given for a wide variety of reasons, from celebrations and occasions like birthdays and anniversaries to employee reward programmes, like individuals going above and beyond in their roles or teams reaching targets.
And like the reasons for gifting, the way we purchase gifts has changed incredibly. Before the digital age, consumers physically visited stores or shopping centres and purchased an item which they took home immediately. Next, catalogues began arriving in doors, kicking off a gifting phase which saw people ordering products weeks in advance of the occasion. When the virtual world peaked, it opened big gifting opportunities by allowing consumers to purchase gifts from any store, at any time and from any location on their mobile devices and having it delivered to their work or home the next day. Digital gifting, like One4all’s Digital Gift Card, is the next step – consumers can purchase, personalise and send the gift which will be delivered to the recipient and ready for redemption immediately.
What are the benefits of digital gift cards?
1. Convenient to purchase: Physical gifts require you to visit a store or order online well in advance. This provides digital gifts with a clear advantage, convenience. With internet connection and your phone, you can purchase a gift from anywhere, at any time and for any occasion.
2. Instant delivery, worldwide: Digital gift cards eliminate delivery costs and times as they are sent directly to the recipient via SMS or email.
3. Digital gift cards are omnichannel: While there are exceptions, most digital gift cards function like physical cards and can be spent either in-store or online.
4. Digital gift cards are always with you: How often have you gone to a store to make a purchase but forgotten your gift card? Smaller wallets are the new trend so many people don’t carry their gift card with them all the time, particularly if there’s more than one. Because digital cards are stored in a virtual wallet on your phone, you always have them when you need them.
5. Impossible to lose: One of the biggest benefits of digital gift cards is that they’re impossible to lose. When you receive or send a digital gift card, a confirmation of your purchase will be sent directly to your email, and this information can be used to retrieve the balance of your gift card. If you lose your physical gift card, the issuer will usually require proofs of purchases, receipts and other information you may not have.
6. Better for the environment: In the US, 1.6 billion gift cards are printed every year – that amount requires 9,000 tons of plastic, and this emits 33,260 tons of harmful CO2 emissions. Digital gift cards are a more environmentally friendly option as they’re digital, they don’t need plastic to exist.
- Better user experience, for the buyer and recipient:
- For the buyer: better discoverability (they’re easy to find, be it on mobile or desktop), great personalisation (you can customise the card with your choice of imagery and messaging), speedy delivery (delivered instantly, worldwide), cost savings (no printing or delivery costs involved), and gifting prioritisation (last-minute gifting made easy and personal).
- For the recipient: engaging delivery reveal (thanks to personalisation), ease of redemption (the funds can be added to your digital wallet), and ease of use (purchase goods and services all from your phone).
To conclude, digital gift cards are easier to gift, easier to spend, and easier to protect, making them a game-changing development that will only continue to advance in the future.