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Big Box Retailers See Even More Gift Card Growth in 2018

National Gift Card Annual B2B Gift Card Report Examines Popular Gift Card Reward Categories, Client Performance

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill., April 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- National Gift Card (NGC), one of North America's largest gift card technology companies, released the findings from its annual gift card report. This report details redemption statistics for loyalty, rewards, and incentive programs in 2018 and found the following:

Big Box Store Gift Cards Are More Popular than Ever: This is the fourth consecutive year that the big box category topped the list of reward categories, with 30 percent of the total redemption volume in gift card programs. This was a four percent increase from last year's findings. Category rankings for B2B gift card sales are:

  1. Big Box Retailers - 30%
  2. Open Loop - 24.8%
  3. Entertainment - 10.3%
  4. Department Stores - 7.4%
  5. Quick Service - 5%
  6. Gas/Automotive - 4.2%
  7. Home Improvement - 3.2%
  8. Specialty - 3.2%
  9. Casual Dining - 3%
  10. Canadian Sales - 2.7%
  11. Apparel - 2.5%
  12. Grocery/Pharmacy - 1.7%
  13. Sports & Wellness - 1%
  14. Travel - 1%

Biggest Category Changes: In addition to the significant change in Big Box Retailers, Open Loop, e.g. Visa and American Express Prepaid Cards, saw an increase of three percent. Entertainment, on the other hand, decreased seven percent.

Top 5 Specific Gift Card Rankings:

  1. Visa Prepaid Reward Cards
  2. Amazon
  3. Walmart
  4. iTunes
  5. Target

Client Category Performance: When it came to program type performance, loyalty and reward agencies led the charge significantly, making 39 percent of the total annual spend. Employee Benefit companies came in second place, with Healthcare and Wellness and Mobile App companies close behind. The rankings are as follows:

  1. Loyalty & Reward Agency - 39.33%
  2. Employee Benefit Company - 12.87%
  3. Healthcare/Wellness - 10.55%
  4. Mobile App Company - 10.00%
  5. Corporate Client & Small Business - 6.14%
  6. Marketing & Event Company - 5.83%
  7. Insurance Company - 3.01%
  8. Fundraising - 2.86%
  9. University/School - 2.73%
  10. Casino & Entertainment - 1.87%

The remaining 4.8 percent is made up by Survey and Research, Rebate and CPG, Merchants, Nonprofit and Government and Consumer Rewards.

Digital vs. Physical: The ratio of digital vs. physical card redemptions in B2B programs was 30.7 percent vs. 69.3 percent. This was a 7.33 percent increase in digital from the previous year.

"We expect digital gift card redemption and sales to continue to climb," said Eric Thiegs, NGC's Chief Revenue Officer. "We're seeing more gift card clients in both the retailer and corporate arena look to partners like NGC to utilize gift card API technology and white label solutions to customize gift card programs with mobile and real-time features. This will positively impact the end-user experience for digital gift card redemptions."

About National Gift Card: NGC US, LLC operates across the U.S. and Canada. NGC also operates in the United Kingdom and across Europe as NGC Corp. Europe, Ltd. NGC is headquartered in Illinois. To learn more about NGC, visit http://www.ngc-group.com or call +1.888.472.8747