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2009 Holiday Results: Retailers See Digital Gift Card Sales Surge as Consumers Look for Last Minute Gifts

CashStar, the digital gifting and incentives platform company, today shared online gift card sales trends from the 2009 holiday season. Based on aggregated data from tens of thousands of customers making millions of dollars worth of purchases across CashStar’s digital gifting and incentives platform, online gift cards proved to be a profitable last minute sales tool for retailers. In fact, Christmas Eve was the highest selling day of the year, with an eye-catching 39 percent being purchased after 6pm Eastern.

Online gift card sales increased more than twelve-fold (1129 percent) between Black Friday (November 27) and Christmas Eve. Sales increased 682 percent between the first week of December and Christmas Eve, and December 18 through Christmas Day represented the top eight sales days of the year, with a combined 40 percent of the sales for the year.

“The Container Store introduced eGift Cards just in time for the 2009 holiday season,” said Margery Hurlbut, customer solutions director at The Container Store. “We were thrilled to see a tremendous spike in gift card sales during the week leading up to Christmas because customers could have the eGift Cards e-mailed immediately. That week, historically, has been a valley for online sales of traditional gift cards due to shipping deadlines. It was definitely a great solution for the last minute holiday shoppers.”

Other Notable Statistics from 2009 Holiday Season

  • Cyber Monday: Of those consumers who purchased online gift cards on Cyber Monday, 15 percent chose to send the card at a later date
  • Top Selling Hours: The most active selling times were consistent throughout the year: Noon Eastern was the highest selling hour of the day with 8 percent of daily sales; the highest number of transactions occurred between 11am – 5pm (44 percent of sales)
  • Face Value: For the week of Christmas, the average face value of CashStar gift cards was 69 percent higher than the industry average for specialty retail gift cards and 151 percent higher for general gift cards (compared to sales info provided by First Data). This trend represents a demographic of affluent, Internet-savvy female buyers in the 31-50+ age range, who are more likely to purchase digital gift cards
  • Future Send: Nearly one in five purchasers (18 percent) opted to send online gift cards at a later date
  • Personalization: CashStar retailers offer shoppers the most enhanced gifting experience available online. This year, more than 97 percent of all CashStar-powered gift cards carried a personalized message attached. And, on average, more than one in ten consumers uploaded their own photo or image as their gift card design for an increased level of personalization

“We’re thrilled with the results of our first major holiday sales season. Our retailers had tremendous success with the platform and shopper satisfaction surveys came back with glowing reviews of the service,” commented CashStar CEO David Stone. “We also tested new marketing and social media efforts that, combined with our clients’ own promotional efforts, created major sales spikes and helped attract new customers.”

About CashStar, Inc.

CashStar is the leading digital gifting and incentives company. Its powerful e-gifting, marketing and promotions platform helps leading brands increase online and in-store traffic and improve lift. CashStar makes it possible for businesses and consumers to securely e-mail monetary value such as eGift cards, rewards, incentives and rebates. The Company offers the market’s strongest dynamic, customizable messaging system, enabling consumers and marketers to deliver the most personal gifting experience online. Leveraging its exclusive affiliation with Coupons, Inc., the leading global solutions provider of consumer print-at-home coupons, CashStar offers its partner brands unparalleled online reach for promoting their unique eGift Card offerings. CashStar’s roster of clients now includes leading retail brands including The Home Depot, The Container Store, CVS, Brinker International Restaurants, Papa John’s and Travelocity. For more information about CashStar, please visit www.cashstar.com or e-mail [email protected].

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