Every day we come across gift card statistics. Here are three that surprised us:

60% of us prefer receiving a gift card to cash.

Cash is functionally superior to gift cards. We can spend it in more places, on more things, more easily (and it fits more easily into a greeting card). Then why, when it comes to gifts, do we prefer to receive gift cards? Perhaps cash and cash-equivalent gifts just get added to our budgets for boring, necessary purchases. Maybe gift cards are seen as more thoughtful and personal. Why would you prefer a gift card to cash?

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40% of us prefer receiving a gift card to a traditional gift.

In general, we are terrible at picking out gifts for other people. The pressure to spend the right amount on something thoughtful is just too much. So we fail often - and miserably. The idiom "it's the thought that counts" rings less true with each fruitcake, ugly sweater, and pair of socks we receive.

OPT Blog Image - Employees exchanging gifts

For a growing number of recipients, gift cards are earmarked enough to be thoughtful while reducing our need to look you in the eye, fake a smile, and convincingly proclaim, "Wow, look at that!"

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41% of people trying a business for the first time, do so because of a gift card.

Lifetime customers begin as first-time customers. For most businesses, word-of-mouth drives the first-time customer trial, that first opportunity to wow someone new with the amazing things that you do. Effective marketing is increasingly about removing obstacles. 

OPT Blog Image - Employees sharing information via word-of-mouth marketing

Supporting word-of-mouth from existing customers is challenging and vital. If 4 of every 10 first-time customers try your business because they received a gift card, you need to make it easy for your current customers to give them, and enjoyable for first-time customers to use them.

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