The Australian Merchants With the Top Omnicommerce Gift Card Programs
NAPCO Research, in conjunction with Blackhawk Network, recently executed a comprehensive review of the state of Australian-based merchants’ gift card programs. The subsequent report included an assessment of retailers’ e-commerce/digital, mobile, and in-store gift card offerings, providing an omnicommerce view into the consumer gift card purchase and recipient experience.
The report features data and analysis from the assessment of 50 Australian merchants. Those merchants, which represented a range of product verticals, were evaluated across 170 unique criteria. Key components evaluated included the online consumer purchase and recipient experience of both digital and physical cards (e.g., ease of discoverability, payment options, delivery options); in-store consumer purchase experience of physical cards (e.g., how well-stocked were gift card checkstands and fixtures; how helpful was signage); and the mobile consumer purchase and recipient experience of digital and physical cards, as well as in-store mobile payment options and functionality.
The research was conducted from January 2022 to February 2022. Our analysts went through the research and buying experience, purchasing both physical and digital gift cards from each of the 50 retailers evaluated.
Australian merchants have a lot to potentially gain by optimizing the performance of their gift card programs. According to the Global Gift Card Survey, the Australian gift card market will increase from A$6.8 billion in 2020 to A$11.1 billion by 2025.
What the Data Revealed
Grocery store chain Woolworths took the top spot in the 2022 rankings, earning 86 percent of the points across all the criteria. It was followed by BCF, which received 83 percent of the available points. Rounding out the top five in the 2022 rankings were Dusk (82 percent), Aus Post (81 percent), and Lorna Jane (80 percent).
When looking at the top performers in the digital-only portion of the assessment, they included the following merchants:
- BCF (95 percent)
- JB HI FI (90 percent)
- Woolworths (89 percent)
- Peter Alexander (89 percent)
- Dusk (85 percent)
- Event Cinema (85 percent)
And while the overall average score for the in-store portion of the assessment was lowest among the three channels, there was one merchant, Just Jeans, that earned a perfect score for the in-store criteria. The rest of the top performers for in-store included:
- Aus Post (85 percent)
- Lorna Jane (79 percent)
- Sephora (79 percent)
- Sheridan (79 percent)
- T2 (79 percent)
When looking at the results of all 50 merchants on an aggregate basis, they earned a total omnicommerce average score of 69 percent. This indicates that Australian merchants have room for improvement when it comes to their omnicommerce gift card programs, particularly as it relates to the in-store purchase experience. Contributing to the overall omnicommerce average score were the following average scores for the criteria within the three legs of the assessment:
- E-Commerce/Digital: 68 percent
- In-Store: 58 percent
- Mobile: 81 percent
Compared with the other regions evaluated in this year’s multinational omnicommerce gift card report, Australia has a smaller gift card market, indicating an opportunity for growth. From what we've gathered from our research as well as third-party data, Australian consumers are shopping more online, buying more gift cards, and are savvy when it comes to sales promotions. Retailers would be wise to market their gift card programs to customers where they are — not only in-store, but online and mobile as well. Failing to do so means leaving money on the table and missing out on the opportunity to amplify brand awareness, strengthen customer loyalty, and ultimately boost sales.
For example, fewer than a quarter (24 percent) of merchants are carrying other brands' gift cards. Businesses
willing to seize this opportunity can boost profitability within their gift card program. Carrying multibrand gift cards should be a key consideration. As global supply chain challenges continue to impact Australia, solutions that offer customers the flexibility to redeem with multiple retailers could prove a popular choice.
In a follow-up article on the 2022 Merchant Gift Card Omnicommerce Evaluation, AUS Edition, we will dig deeper into the data, including identifying strengths and opportunities for merchants' gift card programs across e-commerce, in-store and mobile channels, as well as share best practices for improving performance in these areas. In the meantime, you can download the full report, which includes the additional details on the rankings as well as more valuable trends and tips gleaned from the data, here.
Related story: 2022 Merchant Gift Card Omnicommerce Evaluation - AUS Edition
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.