28TH JUNE 2015

How You Give Gifts is Changing: Trends in Gift Card Retailing

The gift card industry is experiencing a boom right now all over the world. In the United States, more than 2/3 of consumers have received a gift card in the past year, making it a $124 billion business in the country which is at its very peak.  According to npr.org, more than 70% of all gift card recipients will spend 20% more than the value of the card that was given to them, making it a preferred gift by many retailers, as well as consumers, who view the gift card given to them as a discount for something that they really want from the store of choice.

In the Philippines, the gift card retailing industry is only at its infancy stage. The market is still fragmented and hardly any gift cards are available online, except for the large retailers, but those come at an exorbitant markup fee online.   Right now, only 45% of Filipinos buy gift cards as gifts, with most people still preferring traditional options of giving gifts.  This does not come as a surprise since Filipinos generally lag in adapting to mobile and technology trends compared to other countries like Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong.  Nonetheless, eventually these trends trickle down to our country in one way, shape or form.  While Filipinos still have some barriers to break in terms of embracing gift cards as a more acceptable gift to give, it is only a matter of time that the market will be ready for these gift giving trends:

Mobile Gift cards

Mobile apps are paving the way for premium convenience in many traditional spaces. Mobile solutions make gift giving easier by allowing people to buy gift cards fast with just a few smart phone clicks. You can have the gift card emailed to someone’s email or phone, and the person can print the gift card or present their mobile phone at the store.  More than 13% of gift cards sold in the US in 2013 were from gift cards. This number increased by 50% in 2014.

Personalized Gift cards

Gift cards nowadays come with a nice envelope or a gift tag which automatically has the oomph factor of giving an actual well-wrapped gift.  You can also give gift cards online in a personalized way, with greeting cards and recommended gift items that you can add to your gift card. Some websites even add a video greeting card to your gift card to make it even more memorable.

A sample of a greeting card with your gift certificate - gift certificate for your birthday from Uncharted Philippines and Gifted.PH

 Each Gifted.PH gift card comes with a greeting card and recommended gift item, making the gift card a more personal gift to give.


Bundled Gift cards

These are gift cards from different brands that come in one pack. Since you have bought a bundled pack of gift cards, you can choose which among the brands would best suit different people in your lives or different occasions. You could give one gift card to your dad, mom, sister, brother and the like. That way, you don’t need to go from one store to another to buy a gift, you simply buy a gift card bundle all in one go, and be done with your gift shopping in a flash.  

 Three Colorful gift boxes in polka dot pink, purple and green

Some gift cards are now bundled into one, to help you give gifts for many people for different occasion.

Universal Gift cards

This is essentially the gift of money which you can use to buy anything that you want, since this is not merchant dependent and is essentially being given money.  A lot of cultures already practice the gift of giving money, but it is only now that this is widely picking up as an acceptable gift, with websites that make it easy for you to give money. 

 Gift certificates for money are deposited as cash into your bank account. A new way of giving money as gifts

Universal Gift cards are essentially the gift of money which you can spend for any want and need.


With these gift giving innovation, we can finally come close to making gift giving a science, something of a holy grail of sorts that seemed impossible in the past, especially for those of you who love doing things. With Gifted.PH, the first gift card retailing website in the Philippines and the second of its kind in South East Asia, Filipinos can now experience firsthand this new mobile way of giving gifts.  This comes especially handy for locally based Filipinos who know how horrible metro traffic can be, and how getting to the mall can sometimes be a chore.  It is also equally convenient for overseas Filipinos, who often miss out giving gifts during important occasions, or end up not giving gifts at all. Now, there are ways to keep in touch without having to ship an entire balikbayan box or pay crazy remittance fees to transfer money.



  • http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2014/12/05/gift-card-trend-personalization.html?page=all
  • Npr.org
  • Time.com
  • Firstdata.com