Indians spent a whopping Rs. 1800 crore on gift cards during the last twelve months. The total number of active gift cards touched 2.7 million this month, and has witnessed a growth of 145% in the last one year. This was revealed in a study on demand for gift cards in India, undertaken by Bangalore based startup QwikCilver in September, 2012.
Mirroring global trends, Indian retailers are keen on gift cards owing to the significant increase in average ‘uplift’. Uplift is the amount spent by an individual over the card value. The average uplift is currently at 150%, with giftees spending at least 70% more than the gift card value. However, the uplift goes up as high as 400% on premium accessory brands. The load value (or the average amount spent on a card) of a gift card in India is Rs. 1400 this year, but is higher at Rs. 3300 for premium accessory brands. It is notable that nearly 40% of this demand for gift cards is from tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
Leveraging these numbers to their advantage, QwikCilver has launched GiftBig ‘Friends Club’, a Social to Local Marketing Platform that enables gifting amongst Facebook friends. Two types of Gift Cards would be available- Free & Top-up Gift Cards. The concept is based on the premise that it would be fun to gift free Gift Cards to one’s FB friends! This would create a viral impact as the Gift message will be posted on friend’s Timeline and will talk about the brand & the Gift Card. The end result being: targeting social media users to walk into the stores. The entire process from gifting online to redemption at stores is tracked end-to-end.
Speaking on the growing interest in gift cards in India, T P Pratap, Co-founder/Chief Marketing officer, QwikCilver said, “Globally, gift cards are easily the largest selling SKUs for many brands, especially during the festive season. In fact, according to the Deloitte & Touche annual consumer survey this year in the US, for the first time, gift cards are expected to replace apparel as the gift of choice for the holidays. Moreover, it has been professed that people will spend over $28 billion on gifting measures this season. The trend is already catching up here, in India. GiftBig.com, the e-mall for gift cards by QwikCilver, saw a significant increase during Onam."
The advantages to the brands getting involved in the process include the benefit of user topping up the Gift Card for friends at the time of gifting, uplift advantage at the time of redemption, new footfalls to stores, a brand recall when the friends post Gift Cards on each other’s Timelines.
21Fools is another startup in the business of making people smile, with creative greeting cards of course.