SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - May 4, 2011) - New data released today reveals that as the gift card economy continues to grow, consumers are increasingly purchasing discounted gift cards to shop at their favorite retailers. The results, released by Plastic Jungle, the Web's largest secured gift card exchange, show a growing alignment of consumer and merchant interests. While consumers are taking advantage of the discounts offered by secondary gift card marketplaces to extend purchasing power for their favorite brands, merchants are benefitting from the increase in consumer spending and becoming more connected with their most motivated customers. The survey, which polled over 1,500 gift card buyers, was conducted in January and April 2011.
Merchant-issued -- or closed loop -- gift cards now represent $90 billion of the U.S. economy, but an estimated $30 billion in gift cards are unredeemed at any given time. Plastic Jungle brings liquidity to the secondary gift card market by allowing consumers get the most value out of gift cards. Consumers can buy gift cards at their favorite stores for savings up to 35%, sell unredeemed gift cards for up to 92% of the gift card value, or donate the value of unused cards to their favorite cause. Plastic Jungle also enables users to exchange gift cards for payment value which can be used at the millions of merchants that accept PayPal and for virtual currency which can be used at thousands of online games on social networks, such as Facebook.
Plastic Jungle's trusted partnership with retailers helps to reduce the inefficiencies currently present for merchants in the gift card market and connect retailers with their best customers, who are likely to spend at least 30% more than the gift card's value in a single visit and redeem the cards quickly. Plastic Jungle survey results find that 81% of respondents used their gift card within two weeks of purchasing it on the Plastic Jungle website, and 57% of these respondents reported spending more than the value of the gift card. What's more, Plastic Jungle's secondary gift card marketplace also helps drive consumers to retail brands. Of those surveyed, 60% said that buying discounted gift cards helps them decide where to shop and eat.
Consumers overwhelmingly value the discounts they receive through Plastic Jungle and are likely to purchase discounted gift cards for self-use in order to stretch their budgets. The findings show that 77% of gift card buyers thought the most important reason for their purchase was related to the discount offered, and 79% bought discounted card to purchase items for themselves or for others in their household. Nearly 100% of respondents said that the fact they could buy discounted gift cards either maintained or positively changed their impression of the brand.
Secure and guaranteed transactions are of the utmost importance to buyers in the secondary gift card marketplace. From the respondents surveyed, 94% view Plastic Jungle as a trusted partner of retailers, and 90% would not buy a gift card on an unmediated website because of the perceived fraud risk associated with the transaction.
"These survey results show us that interests of consumers and retailers are truly complementing each other," said Bruce Bower, CEO of Plastic Jungle. "Consumers want the flexibility to shop where and when they want to shop at a great value; retailers want to get their best customers into their stores, spending frequently; and Plastic Jungle is connecting the two, directly aligning merchant and consumer interests thereby benefiting all parties involved."
About Plastic Jungle
Plastic Jungle (www.plasticjungle.com) is the web's largest secured gift card exchange, giving consumers the choice and flexibility to convert their gift cards into other forms of spending power -- including cash, online balances to use for purchases at the millions of merchants that accept PayPal, Facebook Credits, and more -- and to stretch their shopping dollars at their favorite merchants. Plastic Jungle's patent-pending marketplace and payment applications aim to safely unlock the estimated $30 billion in unredeemed gift cards trapped in the economy for the benefit of consumers and merchants alike. Based in San Jose, California, the company is privately held, with venture backing from Shasta Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Jafco Ventures, First Round Capital, Bay Partners, Harrison Metal and Western Technology Investment.