Teen Boys More Likely to Buy Gift Cards than Girls

By Aug 23, 2006

Some 48% of college-bound teens purchase gift cards rather than a gift item for friends and family throughout the year, while 33% of teen girls bought gift cards, according to a new study commissioned by Stored Value Systems, Inc. (SVS), a national gift card supplier and transaction processor.

The gap widens further when it comes to card preference. Cards from electronics stores are preferred by males (51%), versus females, who prefer clothing stores (70%) and bookstores (48%). Some 95% of respondents asked has either purchased or received a gift card.

Males are more likely to go online to purchase gift cards (51%) than females (32%). Males (47%) are also more likely to purchase gift cards with preset amounts, compared to choosing an amount, versus 34% of females.

“This year’s survey really does highlight the many differences in spending habits between the sexes,” said Bob Skiba, EVP of SVS, in a statement. “We’re seeing males wanting to avoid lines by shopping online and are more interested in being able to use a card a multiple retailers, while females are interested in getting a gift card from a specific retailer and using their gift card more quickly than males.”

Nearly a third of teenagers are purchasing gift cards at gift card malls found in grocery or convenience stores, the report found.

Other key findings include:

  • 80% of females like a gift card because the recipient can get what he/she wants vs. 60% of males.
  • Females buy gift cards because they are more convenient (36%), males 32%. Females buy gift cards when they can’t decide what else to get (71%); while males only cite that reason 57% of the time.
  • Females are more likely to buy at a retail location (92%) than males (84%).
  • About 29% of teenagers have purchased gift cards from a gift card mall. Of those, females are more likely to purchase a gift card at a gift card mall (51%) than males (34%).
  • The average number of gift cards teens purchased for friends and family over the past year was 4.3 gift cards. The average amount they loaded onto a gift card was $28.
  • The top occasions for giving gift cards include: birthday, Christmas/other winter holidays, graduation, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, congratulations, thank-you gift, just for fun and anniversary.

The survey was conducted online between June 27-July 4, 2006 involving 603 10th, 11th and 12th grade students divided almost evenly by gender and class. This is the third year of the study.

For more coverage on research