Here’s a pop quiz: what has been the most requested gift in the U.S. across all income levels for eight consecutive years till 2015? If you think it’s a video game console or a versatile doll with around 150 careers, you got it wrong. The answer is GIFT CARD, according to surveys by the National Retail Federation and Statista.
Yes, the much-maligned gift card which has been described as the ultimate in thoughtless, lazy gift-giving has become so popular and entrenched as a go-to gift for holidays and special occasions. Moreover, this growing preference by the consumer market for physical gift cards is accompanied by a precipitous rise in the popularity of digital/electronic gift cards or EGCs. In fact, a 2015 consumer survey by InComm in the U.S. showed that nearly 90% of survey respondents between 18-25 years old are more interested in purchasing digital gift cards now than they were two to three years ago.
But the mind-blowing forecast is that Persistence Market Research reported this month that the international market for gift cards is likely to grow to $698 billion by 2024, more than double its current value of $307 billion.
These developments are not lost on ABS-CBN Global Ltd Business Development Manager Mike Tolentino who saw opportunities for ABS-CBN to be of better service to Filipinos everywhere through the use of e-gift cards.
Enter Checkout+, powered by ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC) and Giftaway, an e-gift company in the Philippines. “Checkout+ is a web-based, mobile friendly, hassle-free and secure way for Filipinos working or living abroad to send EGCs to their beneficiaries in the Philippines,” said Tolentino. “It offers a variety of products and services from Philippine-based establishments which overseas Filipinos can choose from as gifts or presents to their loved ones in the homeland.”
How does it work? It takes three easy steps: (1) the overseas Filipino purchases an EGC on the Checkout+ website using a credit card or PayPal; (2) the recipient in the Philippines receives a notification of the EGC via SMS or text message and email. The notification contains a personalized message, a unique code, the corresponding value of the gift
and the merchant’s name; (3) the recipient in the Philippines claims the EGC in any authorized branch of the merchant by showing the code to the cashier or customer service.
“The beauty of Checkout+ is it simple, instant, and convenient to both the giver and receiver especially with the ever-increasing consumer connectivity through the ubiquitous mobile gadgets,” said Tolentino. “And far from the previous image of gift cards as a thoughtless, impersonal gift, the giver is not only able to send a personalized message; he or she actually can out a lot of thought in choosing the EGC from a list of quality and vetted brands or merchants. In the end, it’s a win for everybody.”
There are scores of participating merchants in the Philippines on Checkout+ that cover a wide breadth of products and services: apparel, footwear, sporting goods, fashion accessories, specialty stores, home, electronics, bookstore, cosmetics, kitchen, fragrance, kids, spa, fitness studio, salon and barbershop, dermatology, activities, tours, accommodations, automotive, education, food, dining and nightlife.
To try out Checkout+ and delight your loved ones in the Philippines with a pleasant surprise, visit https://checkoutplus.mytfc.com/