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Power of Gift Cards in India's Retail and E-Commerce

Last updated :
April 25, 2024
/

minutes read

In the heart of India's bustling markets, a quiet revolution is underway, one that's set to redefine the essence of gifting and retail shopping.

Gift cards, once a simple alternative to cash or physical gifts, are now at the forefront of transforming consumer habits and business strategies alike.

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The Explosive Growth of Gift Cards

Recent findings project the Indian Gift Card Market to soar from USD 13.02 billion in 2024 to an astonishing USD 34.76 billion by 2029, marking a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.70%.

(Mordor Intelligence) This isn't merely about numbers; it's a testament to the increasing consumer shift towards these digital tokens of choice and convenience.

Why This Surge?

Two main forces drive this surge. First, the rise in e-gift card transactions, which has tripled over the past three years, echoing a growing preference for digital over physical gifts.

Second, the adoption rate, with gift card purchases skyrocketing by 41% in the fiscal year 2016-17 alone. (Entrepreneur).

This shift is part of a broader narrative, one where the Indian market's potential to touch the $40 billion mark becomes increasingly plausible 

Boosting Business Revenue: The Gift Card Advantage

Gift cards are not just a modern gifting solution; they are a strategic business tool that unlocks new revenue streams for retailers.

The magic of gift cards lies in their ability to encourage additional spending.

Recipients often treat gift cards as 'found money,' leading to purchases they might not have otherwise made, frequently exceeding the card's value. This phenomenon, well-documented globally, is mirrored in India's thriving retail environment.

According to the Credence Research The Indian Gift Card Market's projected growth to USD 59,983.14 million by 2032 underlines the significant role gift cards play in boosting business revenue.

Digital Payments: A Catalyst for the Popularity

India's digital revolution has made its mark on various sectors, with the gift card industry being no exception.

The rise of digital payments has been astronomical, providing a fertile ground for e-gift cards to flourish.

India's digital payment volume has seen an average annual growth of about 50 percent over the past five years, a testament to the country's rapid adoption of digital transaction methods.

This growth trajectory is expected to catapult the digital payments market to US$10 trillion by 2026 (BCG).

E-gift cards complement this digital momentum, offering a seamless and secure transaction experience that aligns with the government's Digital India initiative .

Seasonal Sales Surge: The Festive Boost from Gift Cards

In India, where festivals and celebrations are at the heart of the culture, gift cards have become a key player in amplifying seasonal sales.

The flexibility and convenience of gift cards make them an ideal choice for gift-givers during Diwali, Eid, Christmas, and the plethora of Indian festivals.

While direct statistics on seasonal sales spikes due to gift cards in India are rare, the global trend indicates a significant uptick in sales during festive periods, a pattern that’s echoed in India’s retail sector.

The anticipated growth of the gift card market underscores its capacity to boost sales, especially during high-demand seasons.

Digital Payment Revolution: Facilitating Ease and Security

The intersection of gift cards and digital payments in India is not just about convenience; it's a major step towards secure, hassle-free transactions.

According to Statista, IMF report India's digital payment ecosystem is experiencing exponential growth — nearly 114 billion transactions in the financial year 2023 — e-gift cards are becoming a preferred method of transaction.

This surge is supported by the government's push towards a digital economy, with initiatives like the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) leading the charge.

The UPI system alone has seen an astounding annual growth rate of 160 percent, highlighting the rapid adoption of digital payments among Indian consumers.

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Conclusion

Gift cards are more than just a convenient gifting option; they are a strategic tool for businesses and a catalyst for India's digital payment revolution. Gift cards are poised to play a pivotal role in India’s retail and e-commerce landscapes by : 

  • Driving incremental revenue
  • Supporting digital transactions
  • Boosting seasonal sales.

As we look towards the future, the integration of gift cards into business models and consumer habits is expected to deepen, marking a new era in India’s digital and retail evolution.

References:

  1. Mordor Intelligence - India Gift Card & Incentive Card Market Size & Share Analysis: https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/india-gift-card-and-incentive-card-market
  2. Entrepreneur - The Business of Gift Cards is Here to Stay in India: https://www.entrepreneur.com/en-in/news-and-trends/the-business-of-gift-cards-is-here-to-stay-in-india/293130
  3. Credence Research - India Gift Card Market Size, Growth & Forecast to 2032: https://www.credenceresearch.com/report/india-gift-card-market
  4. Statista - Digital payments in India - statistics & facts: https://www.statista.com/topics/5593/digital-payment-in-india/
  5. IMF - How India's Central Bank Helped Spur a Digital Payments Boom: https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2022/10/26/cf-how-indias-central-bank-helped-spur-a-digital-payments-boom

BCG - Digital Payments in India Projected To Reach $10 Trillion by 2026: https://www.bcg.com/press/2june2022-digital-payments-in-india-projected-to-reach-10-trillion-by-2026

😎 Top selling gift cards now
😎 Top selling gift cards now
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Shuaib Azam
Shuaib is a Marketing & Growth lead at Hubble. When he isn't working on growth initiatives, Shuaib writes fiction and doodles space monkeys.

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