93 Pc Indians Strongly Believe That Digital Gift Cards Are Appropriate Holiday Gifts
93 Pc Indians Strongly Believe That Digital Gift Cards Are Appropriate Holiday Gifts

As consumers head into this year’s restriction-free holiday season with bated breath, their holiday shopping behavior is expected to be noticeably different than the last two years.

According to a new survey commissioned by global payments provider, Blackhawk Network 72 percent of Indian respondents plan to get together more often than last year for holiday celebrations.

“The pandemic has deeply impacted shopper sentiments around the holidays in the last two years. Our research found that 85 percent of surveyed Indians had planned to start this season’s holiday shopping in October or earlier, and over 48 percent of Indians surveyed plan to spend more this year compared to the previous year. With consumers continuing to shop across apps and devices, it’s vital for retailers to have a solid cross-channel strategy to meet consumer demands,” said Jay Jaffin, Chief Marketing Officer, of Blackhawk Network.

Key trends in India identified in the report:

  • Consumers plan to increase holiday spending despite tight budgets:

For the second consecutive year, shoppers anticipate they will spend more during the holiday season. Surveyed consumers plan an overall 37 percent increase in gift card spending this year, largely driven by Gen Z.

Gift card sales are expected to see an even greater lift, with overall shoppers expected to spend 39 percent more on gift cards this year compared to last year, and Gen Z shoppers planning to increase gift card purchases by 42 percent.

A significant share of Indian consumers moved to shopping online over the past 2 years owing to lockdown restrictions and a rising internet and smartphone penetration rate in the country.

The growing retail market will be largely driven by the younger generation in India, who prefer a mobile-first approach while shopping.

92 percent of surveyed respondents reported that gift cards are most thoughtful when they can choose to shop a gift of their choice. 95 percent of Indian consumers surveyed who are likely to buy a gift card this season will prefer online retailers (i.e., Amazon, eBay, Alibaba).

  • Deals are decking the halls this year

62 percent of Indians surveyed report that they plan to change their shopping behavior. 63 percent of Indian respondents are prompted to start their holiday shopping when there are announcements about sales/promotions.

For those ages 18 to 34, 72 percent of people surveyed are planning to purchase gifts for more people than last year. Clearly, there is a significant opportunity for brands to attract consumers with unique offers and deals.

  • Gift cards emerge as the preferred choice for festive gifting

Over 46 percent of consumers surveyed believe that gift cards are easier to send than physical gifts. Amongst a varied range of categories, 94 percent of Indian respondents plan to purchase gift cards online.

87 percent of those surveyed agree that physical gift cards are appropriate holiday gifts, while 93 percent agree that digital gift cards are appropriate holiday gifts.

The top 5 gift cards that are planned to be purchased in holiday 2022 among respondents include:

  1. Online Retailer (95 percent)
  2. Clothing and Accessories (90 percent)
  3. Grocery (86 percent)
  4. Personal Care/Beauty (85 percent)
  5. Restaurants /Dining (84 percent)


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