A new study from branded payments company Blackhawk Network found that 41% of Gen Z consumers and 39% of millennials surveyed buy e-gift cards at least once every three months, compared to 26% of Gen X consumers and 14% of baby boomers. The research included two online surveys, both of which included sample sizes of more than 3,000 respondents between the ages of 18 to 75.
Most millennials survey respondents (72%) said they used e-gift cards and have also tried other payment methods such as mobile apps (60%) gift cards in mobile wallets (44%) and mobile wallets (42%), the report found.
According to Blackhawk Network's report, 51 out of 100 brands evaluated offered both e-gift cards and physical gift cards across desktop, mobile and mobile apps.
Millennials and Generation Z customers are adopting gift cards more frequently than Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers. As younger generations purchase e-gift cards more frequently, the adoption rate from older generations will increase as well, according to the report. However, younger consumers are still buying traditional, physical gift cards. Twenty percent of Gen X survey respondents said they bought e-gifts for their kids. About 51% of Gen Z consumers are buying physical cards every three months, which is slightly more than 47% of millennials, according to the report.
As a millennial and Gen Z consumers fuel e-gift card adoption, improving the mobile shopping experience will be necessary for retailers that want to win over younger shoppers. That's especially true for captivating Gen Z consumers' attention, the generation which browses through products pretty quickly but converts twice as much on mobile as other groups.
"We anticipate demand for egifts from these generations to continue to rise in the near term," Theresa McEndree, Blackhawk Network's vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "By optimizing their digital gift card solutions, retailers can keep these younger consumers engaged by giving them the digital experience that they crave."