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.