Green Fenwick Gift Card full image

The emotional value of gift cards

  • by Fern Maguire
  • 06.11.2023
  • Articles

It’s a symbolic gesture, shows appreciation and creates a connection with another, the act of giving a gift is part of our evolutionary history.

Physical cards remain the most popular option for gift cards and vouchers, for both consumers and businesses. As we move into the gift-giving season, we look at not just the monetary benefits, but the emotional impact of gift cards and why businesses should have them within their product offering.

Why gift cards?

With the cost of living on the rise, consumers have cut their spending on luxury items meaning people are taking savvier approaches when it comes to gift-giving. Cards can be a cost-effective, yet personal way of gifting; allowing recipients to have an item or experience they might not have considered due to not having the financial means. A gift that comes with more emotional meaning than the value.

It is not just consumers that feel the benefits of gift cards. The industry itself is on the rise, with GCVA retail members experiencing a median 10.4% increase in sales (1*), with the expected industry value to reach £10.4 million by 2027. With the convenience and flexibility of gift cards, shopping trends are coming back to the pre-pandemic levels.

Businesses have adopted the use of gift cards for employee incentives, winning new business and securing long-term customer relationships. Within the B2B industry rewards and incentives grew by 44.6%, reflecting a shift in how businesses are using gift cards to reward their staff (2*). Proving they are more popular than ever.

Vouchers and cards are also an effective way of reaching new customers by introducing people to new brands through the use of gift cards. With this, retailers typically see an increase in spending as customers contribute additionally to their purchases on top of the value of the gift card. Contrary to this, UK consumers leave around £300 million in unspent gift cards, making it a profitable scenario for retailers.

Read more on the benefits of gift cards for your business

The science of giving

But what is it about receiving a physical gift that makes it so special? It makes us happy! According to psychologists, giving a gift triggers the release of dopamine, a chemical released in the brain that is associated with pleasure and reward leading to a greater sense of fulfilment.

Giving gifts can also be a way to build and strengthen social connections between people, leading to improvements in both emotional and mental well-being. It can be a cost effective and tangible way of showing appreciation, building social bonds, and encouraging more positive behaviours.

Digital vs Physical

Despite the rapidly growing digital world, people still prefer physical products, it is in our human nature. Tangible products provide the consumer with a higher sense of ownership, they see more value in physical products as they can see, touch, and feel them compared to a digital version that may not feel ‘real.’ Whilst e-vouchers and emails will still be welcomed, it doesn’t provoke the same physiological response as a physical gift that humans thrive from.

The psychological impact of presenting someone with a gift shows that it’s not about the monetary worth, but the act of giving that provides bigger value which is amplified further when presented in a physical format.

Creating an experience

It’s not just the emotional experience of gifting, it’s an opportunity to enhance your customer experience with gift cards. In addition to printing and manufacturing fully recyclable and eco-degradable plastic cards, Precision Card Services can improve your offering with fully bespoke branded packaging and stationery, elevating your gift cards and having them viewed as a high-value product.

The popular slide and shell format allows the gift card to be easily mounted onto a backer, including a cut-out for barcode readability. It can then be inserted into a fully branded shell, making it the perfect choice for gift cards.

Custom printed presentation boxes boost the value of even the simplest of card designs, and the strong and durable material also ensures that your cards are protected during posting. Perfect for long distance gifting!

Gift cards are the ideal branding opportunity to help boost revenue, build customer loyalty, and increase both online and in-store traffic. They allow you to nurture existing customers and generate new visitors- acting as an essential part of your marketing strategy.

It’s not just a plastic card, it’s a gift that creates long lasting memories.

How can we help?

Precision Card Services provides a full end-to-end service, manufacturing bespoke gift cards in a range of materials including made from recycled and eco-degradable PVC, as well as paper board all of which are available in a variety of finishes.

The PCS studio is well-equipped to handle all design needs. The experienced team can create original artwork based on specific requirements, or work with press-ready files or appointed agencies.

With a secure on-site warehouse facility, PCS are experts at stockholding and single or ongoing fulfilment. With highly skilled and experienced staff, can fulfil all pick and pack requirements for quick and accurate distribution to take the pressure off clients.

PCS take pride in providing expert advice and assistance for even the most complex jobs and will be with you every step of the way.