ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The shopping season is already underway and Black Friday is just around the corner. Shoppers are expected to spend $213.49 on gift cards this year, up 7% from 2018, according to RetailDive.com. A survey of 3,000-plus consumers by Blackhawk Network BrandedPay found that 76% of shoppers will buy at least one gift card or e-gift during the 2019 holiday season, an increase from 72% in 2018.
In the U.S., the five fastest-growing gift card categories are grocery and convenience; entertainment and travel; health and beauty; home goods and furnishings; and department and big-box retailers. The Blackhawk report's findings were in line with the National Retail Federation's survey, which found that more than half of consumers wanted gift cards for the holidays. Millennial and Gen Z consumers are increasingly purchasing e-gift cards.
Additionally more consumers will make purchases on mobile, rather than desktop, devices this year, RetailDive.com reports. Mobile conversions for Black Friday are expected to outpace desktop conversions for the first time this year as consumers recognize that Black Friday bargains aren't just for the in-person early birds anymore.
But there also will be plenty of people shopping in bricks-and-mortar locations, reports CNBC. Generation Z shoppers, age 22 and below, are less likely than millennials and Generation X to shop online, reports The NPD Group. Young shoppers don’t have credit cards or as much money, and they enjoy the experience of shopping with others.
Meanwhile, more than 20% of millennials will start their holiday shopping on Black Friday, while the majority of baby boomers plan to begin holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.