Shopping differences between males and females begin as early as the teen years, when males are more likely than females to purchase gift cards vs. an actual item, according to a survey commissioned by gift card provider Stored Value Systems (SVS).
The survey of 603 college-bound teens revealed that 48% of males purchase gift cards rather than purchase gift items for their families and friends throughout the year, while 33% of females purchase gift cards rather than gift items.
When it comes to what types of gift cards teens prefer to receive, the gap between genders widens. Males prefer gift cards from electronics stores (51%) while females prefer clothing stores (70%) and book stores (48%).
Males are also more likely to purchase gift cards online (51%) than females (32%), and males are also more likely (47%) than female teens (34%) to purchase gift cards with preset amounts loaded onto them (as against choosing an amount at the time of purchase).
According to Bob Skiba, executive vice president for SVS, "We're seeing males wanting to avoid lines by shopping online and are more interested in being able to use a card at multiple retailers while females are interested in getting a gift card from a specific retailer and using their gift card more quickly than males. Nearly one-third of teenagers are purchasing gift cards at gift card malls."
Among the other key findings of the survey:
- 80% of females like a gift card because the recipient can get what he/she wants vs. 60% of males;
- Females buy gift cards because they are more convenient (36%) while males are at 32%;
- Females buy gift cards when they can't decide what else to get (71%); while males only cite that reason 57% of the time;
- Females are more likely to buy at a retail location (92%) than males (84%);
- Some 29% of teenagers have purchased gift cards from a gift card mall, a free-standing display of variety of leading retailers' gift cards. Of those, females are more likely to purchase a gift card at a gift card mall (51%) than males (34%);
- The average number of gift cards teens purchased for friends and family over the past year was 4.3.
- The top occasions for giving gift cards include: birthdays, Christmas or other winter holidays, graduations, Mother's Day, Father's Day, congratulatory gifts, thank-you gifts, "just for fun" and anniversaries.