As the holiday shopping season nears its end, last-minute holiday shoppers turn to fail-proof fix: gift cards. Many customers said that gift cards are better than just giving money or a gift that nobody would ever use.
According to recent estimates issued by the National Retail Federation, U.S. shoppers are expected to take out of pocket about $26 billion for gift cards by the end of the holiday season. Plus, the bulk of the transactions would occur in the final four days before Christmas Day.
About 75 percent of surveyed Americans said that they would purchase at least one gift card for their loved ones. Most of them cited convenience as the main reason for buying the cards.
Over the course of only one year, gift card sales hit $120 billion in the U.S., but analysts expect the business to grow even more by the end of 2017 as more and more companies use the cards for various purposes. For instance, Volkswagen gave away gift cards to all customers that were directly affected by its recent emission-related scandal.
Retail analysts explained that especially the young would rather have the cash to buy themselves whatever they wished rather than receiving a gift they won’t like.
A NRF report shows that gift cards are still one of the most wanted gifts for the holidays in America for the ninth straight year. In 2015, nearly 60 percent of survey participants said that they would rather receive a gift card for holidays.
Gift cards are convenient for both sides. Most people do not know what recipients would wish for Christmas especially when it comes to young people obsessed with technology and gadgets.
So gift cards can save holiday shoppers a lot of trouble, while recipients get to spend them at their heart content over the next year. Last minute shoppers usually lack inspiration, so many of them see gift cards as a last moment fix that can never fail.
Analysts explained that the lack of inspiration may be caused by the absence of must-have gifts this year. This season, shoppers only have to choose between big screen TVs, tablets, smartphones, or accessories, making just about everyone clueless about what would please best their loved ones.
Men also have a hard time to find what holiday gift would best fit women in their lives. So many of them said that gift cards saved them a lot of time and headache. The only downside of gift cards is that recipients will know exactly how much you spent on them this Christmas.
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