The holidays are upon us, and before we know it the weeks of planning, anticipation, decorating and shopping will be over with the blink of an eye. Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday are already over, there will always be a portion of the U.S. shopping population that is procrastinating and will be searching for last-minute gifts.
Not that long ago, shoppers who were still looking for gifts had to physically drive to a store, hassle with parking, and participate in the melee that awaited them at a mall or superstore.
Then came the Internet, and with it mobile – and the way we shop has fundamentally changed. Procrastinators rejoiced that last-minute shipping would allow them to stay home, surf the web, and find a gift for their loved ones that would still arrive (hopefully) before the holidays. Today, gift cards allow those who couldn’t find just the right gift to provide recipients with something thoughtful that still allows flexibility on for the spender.
In fact, According to recent research by the Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) as of June 2014, 42 percent of U.S. shoppers had heard of virtual e-cards. Today in December, three in four shoppers know what they are and how they work. E-gift cards are convenient for givers and giftees – who can now receive and spend all via mobile, and instantaneously.
The RGCA research also found that 69 percent of shoppers think that it’s important to give a gift card that can be spent either online or in person. Our shopping behaviors are changing rapidly, and people want the flexibility to buy when they want, how they want.
Mobile shopping is poised to change the retail landscape in 2015, for gift cards and beyond. But with mobile usage come opportunities and challenges for retailers to develop apps that make shoppers happy and improve revenue opportunities.
Is your mobile app ready for the challenge?