Gift card sales and trends Christmas 2019

The sale of pre-sold revenue cards is increasing massively year on year, and grows in importance for businesses throughout the year. However, and it won’t be a surprise, Christmas is still the time of year when gift card sales go nuts. 

Toggle has features that ensures card sales (notice – not ‘gift’ cards) are a hugely important revenue earner all year round, but here we’ve taken a look at what occurs in the run up to (and on!) Christmas using our faithful friend; statistics.

A few things to note before we launch into the stats

The period we’re looking at here as the ‘run up to Christmas’ is November and December.

These stats are from Toggle customers – we’ve not looked anywhere else.

There is a broad range of clients right from late night venues through to fine dining.

Where we’ve included demographic information, this is data from companies who use both Toggle and Airship.

The Stats

Digital or physical?

Physical cards took the top spot this Christmas, but not by a mile, accounting for 57% of all purchases, with digital cards taking 43%. The split of these physical card sales between online and in-venue is almost exactly 50/50.

This is particularly interesting when you compare these stats to something like Black Friday where digital ousts physical for the top spot by a long way – 65% – and almost all (over 90%) of the sales were online. 

In truth, we were expecting this. Physical has long been the king at Christmas. Christmas gifts are that bit more, well, planned or ‘proper’. It seems the public’s leaning is still to offer something tangible, but digital is certainly hugely important as well. It’ll be interesting to see what the split is in 2020.

The lesson here? Make sure you’re selling both physical and digital cards otherwise you’re missing out. If you’re not doing so already and you want to get yourselves selling physical cards, get in touch.

When do people start purchasing gift cards for Christmas?

This chart would suggest that the increased sales start around mid November, but it’s the Black Friday weekend where the ramp up really happens. From there it’s a steady climb all the way to a few days before Christmas. It would seem that Black Friday itself is useful to get the gift card word out there, and sales kick started in the run up to Christmas.

The most popular day for gift purchases this year was 23rd of December, accounting for 5.8% of all sales across November and December. Christmas Eve and Black Friday weren’t far behind on 5.6% and 5.2% respectively.

Digital and in-venue for the forgetful

Digital cards were the last minute favourite, peaking on Christmas Eve.  In-venue sales also peaked on Christmas Eve, while postal card sales peaked on the 16th December.

It didn’t end there though! There was a notable amount of digital card sales on Christmas Day itself! This continues to prove that you really need to be selling both digital and physical cards to get maximum sales.

Who buys gift cards?

Well, everyone, but there are some definite trends. Females were the most likely to purchase a gift card, with 59% of all sales attributed to them and 41% to men.

As for age, there is a clear winner. 31-40 year olds purchased the greatest number of gifts, accounting for 37% of all sales.

What devices do people use to buy online?

Mobiles, of course! Mobile totted up for the greatest number of visits across our customers’ webshops, accounting for 66.5% of all visitors.

Remember, all the revenue here is just the start for our clients. People will not often stop spending at the value of their gift card, and they’re not likely to come alone. Where a customer has bought a card as a gift, we know that 18% of those recipients will become a regular customer, their potential first visit heightened by the fact that their visit is already paid for.


We wrote up a similar stat-dive for Black Friday 2019 – take a look at it here.