Many shoppers are choosing to give gift cards this holiday season.

The holiday shopping season has already begun, and many retailers are scrambling to keep pace.

What are patrons actually buying though? Gift trends and the latest “it” thing vary each year. According to the National Retail Federation Gift Card Spending Survey, purchases have deviated from last year, but not by too much.

Many shoppers are still buying gift cards. Gift cards are thoughtful presents and allow the receivers the power to choose what they’d like.

The survey found that gift card spending has decreased slightly, the first drop since 2009, with sales still expected to reach close to $26 billion. The survey also found that:

  • Adults ages 65 years and older plan to spend the most overall, totaling an average of $186.44. This age group will also spend the most on each individual card.
  • Men plan to spend more than women per card, similar to last year.
  • Shoppers plan to spend an average of $44.83 per card

Shoppers choose to buy cards for a range of reasons. About half purchase gift cards because of their practicality, allowing the recipient to choose what he or she wants. Almost a quarter of shoppers said they would be purchasing gift cards because they are easier to buy than an actual gift. The top choices for gift card purchases include coffee shops, department stores and restaurants.

As the holiday season approaches, be sure your point of sale system is ready for any purchases, inventory questions or item lookups. Learn more on our website and see how we manage gift cards and eliminate your additional processor fees.