Data from Blackhawk Network’s BrandedPay™ Post-Holiday Report analyzes 2020 holiday spending and trends shaping the industry in 2021
PLEASANTON, Calif. – Jan. 21, 2021 – As retailers consider how to build on the digital momentum in 2020, a new holiday spending report shows a more than 80% increase in digital gift card (eGift) sales and a nearly 40% increase in overall eCommerce gift card sales during the holiday season. The Blackhawk Network BrandedPay™ Post-Holiday spending report based on consumer research and Blackhawk’s own U.S. sales data found consumer spending exceeded holiday projections from the organization’s earlier BrandedPay™ Holiday Shopping Preview for both eCommerce and digital gifting, a trend that is poised to continue. The report’s findings come as gift cards look to provide a needed boost for retailers to kick off the new year.
“Brands that optimized their eGift and gift card eCommerce experience won this holiday season. As consumer behavior continued the rapid, digital migration, gift card programs are no exception. This is a huge win for retailers, as gift card recipients show up ready and excited to use them,” said Theresa McEndree, global head of marketing and corporate brand, Blackhawk Network. “Digital adoption will continue and is here to stay. This stream of digital shoppers will benefit retail sales in the first quarter of the year. Nearly half of consumers surveyed expect to spend at least $25 more than the value of their gift cards—and many plan to spend them within the first few months following the holiday season.”
The top findings and trends identified in the report include:
eCommerce and digital gift card sales surged
Consumers surveyed reported doing 68% of their holiday shopping online on average, which is even higher than the anticipated 60% surveyed consumers reported before the holiday season. Following that trend, eCommerce gift card sales growth beat pre-holiday projections and more than doubled the 12% growth seen in 2019. eCommerce gift card sales ahead of the 2020 holiday season were trending at a 21% increase over 2019 and jumped to nearly 40% growth during the holiday season.
- Holiday eGift sales continued enormous year-long growth. Sales data from Blackhawk Network shows eGifts sales were up over 80% as compared to 2019, surpassing the 74% growth sales were hovering at before the holiday season.
A boost in holiday digital payments adoption looks here to stay
A whopping 41% of consumers surveyed said the payment methods they used to purchase gifts in 2020 were different from those they’ve used in previous years. Nearly 1-in-4 shoppers surveyed reported shopping using a mobile wallet for the first time during the 2020 holiday season, and it looks like usage will stick. Of those surveyed, 37% report that they are likely to permanently adopt the new payment methods they used to shop this year.
Holiday gift cards could provide a boost for retailers in first quarter of 2021
Half of surveyed consumers report they plan to use their gift cards within a month after the holiday, another 23% say they will use their gift cards in the next 3–6 months, and the average denomination for gift cards purchased this holiday season was about $45. This is good news for U.S. retailers as 6-in-10 surveyed shoppers also report that they plan to spend more than the value of their gift card.
Blackhawk Network works with more than 1,000 brands and card partners and is in more than 200,000 retail locations. Blackhawk Network connects with more than 300 million shoppers worldwide each week. Visit www.blackhawknetwork.com for more consumer insights and in-depth analysis.
 The “2020 BrandedPay™ Post-Holiday Shopping” report is based on the findings of an internet-based survey conducted by Survey Monkey on behalf of Blackhawk Network between December 27–29, 2020. The sample size included mover 2,000 respondents ages 18+. Gift card growth findings are based on 2019 and 2020 sales data from Blackhawk Network from over 50,000 merchant locations across the U.S.
 The “2020 BrandedPay™ Holiday Shopping Preview” report is based on the findings of an internet-based survey conducted by Leger on behalf of Blackhawk Network between August 24–31, 2020. The sample size included 1,500 respondents. Gift card category findings are based on 2018–2020 sales data from Blackhawk Network from over 50,000 merchant locations across the U.S.