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Research Finds eGift Growth Outside of Gifting Occasions
Blackhawk Network survey reveals digital gift card growth for self-use, shopper rewards and incentives

PLEASANTON, Calif., Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers tend to purchase plastic gift cards to give as gifts and use egifts more for themselves, according to findings revealed in a recent shopper survey. The survey, conducted by Blackhawk Network, examined how consumers use plastic versus digital gift cards or egifts and how they use shopper rewards for incentives.

Blackhawk Network Research Finds eGift Growth Outside of Gifting Occasions

"Gift cards remain incredibly popular and the expansion into digital forms has provided new opportunities for both retailers and consumers," said Teri Llach, chief marketing officer at Blackhawk Network, a pioneer of prepaid gift cards, payments tools and rewards delivered via a robust and convenient network. "Our research shows that plastic gift cards are used primarily for gifting, while egifts are more often used for self-use. Digital gifts, such as egifts and e-codes, are helping to drive rewards and incentive programs in an incremental way."

Findings from the 2015 Blackhawk Network survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers revealed:

Plastic gift cards are the more popular gifting option. The majority of survey respondents (86 percent) have purchased plastic gift cards in the last year, and nearly half of the consumers surveyed (43 percent) bought plastic gift cards solely for gift-giving. Alternately, 58 percent of consumers purchased an egift in the last year. Of those who purchased egifts, most shoppers purchased them for a combination of gifting and self-use, with only 27 percent of consumers buying egifts solely for gift-giving.

Discounts, rewards and self-use are all driving popularity of egifts. While plastic gift cards remain the more popular choice for gifting, consumers purchase and receive egifts for different reasons, like through a discount or a reward program for self-use. According to the survey, when looking at the total number of gift cards purchased in one year, 63 percent of egifts purchased are being used for self-use. Additionally, the prevalence of consumers purchasing egifts at a discount or receiving them through reward or rebate offerings is evident in the Blackhawk study. Thirty-seven percent have purchased an egift at a discounted rate and 65 percent have received an egift as part of a rebate or reward program within the last year. The majority of those recipients (86 percent) have kept their egift to use themselves.

eGifts are more prevalent among millennials than other generations. According to the survey, this active online shopping generation purchases more egifts than other age groups (76 percent). They also receive more egifts as gifts (71 percent). With millennials, 53 percent of plastic gift cards and 31 percent of egifts purchased are used for gifting.

Blackhawk Network is a pioneer of new gift products and solutions. The company's success is rooted in Blackhawk's expertise in shopper marketing and its ability to stay ahead of consumer behavior. For more information, visit www.blackhawknetwork.com.

About Blackhawk's Gift Cards for Self-Use and Gifting Survey
Blackhawk's Gift Cards for Self-Use and Gifting Survey is an Internet-based survey conducted by Blackhawk Network in October 2015. The sample size included 1,000 American respondents.

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a leading prepaid and payments global company, which supports the program management and distribution of gift cards, prepaid telecom products and financial service products in a number of different retail, digital and incentive channels. Blackhawk's digital platform supports prepaid across a network of digital distribution partners including retailers, financial service providers, and mobile wallets. For more information, please visit www.blackhawknetwork.com and www.giftcardmall.com.

CONTACT:
Tara Strazdas
tara@fletchergroupllc.com 
732-275-7732

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SOURCE Blackhawk Network