MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - Gift cards were one of the “it” gifts this holiday season with a majority of Canadians (66 per cent) reporting that some of the presents they planned to give would be plastic. The popularity of gift cards means that this year the holiday commerce season will extend well into January as recipients sprint to their favourite retailers to redeem them.

A new survey of 1,510 Canadians commissioned by FedEx Express Canada, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX), highlights the gift card redemption and returns activities of Canadians during the ‘recommerce’ shopping season. Over one-third (35 per cent) of Canadians reported using gift cards within a month of receiving them. It was also discovered that those who redeem gift cards online say online redemption is preferred because they can avoid store lineups (58 per cent) and packages are shipped directly to them (54 per cent).

The survey also found only one in four gifts are exchanged or returned. When it comes to making returns, half of survey respondents who return items purchased online agree that it’s convenient to do so, while 54 per cent agree that returning online purchases is simple and straightforward.

“E-commerce is the new normal in Canada. Each year, we see continued growth of online shopping throughout our FedEx network, especially around the holiday season,” said Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada. “Canadians are also continuing to click and ship even after the holidays, extending the holiday shopping season and allowing FedEx to provide dependable shipping solutions by handling e-commerce shipments and returns post-holiday.”

Gift cards are now seen as a gift that provides choice to the recipient. Of the 66 per cent of survey respondents who planned on giving a gift card this past holiday season, three-quarters (76 per cent) said they liked that the recipient can choose what they would like to buy.

Convenience, for the giver and the recipient, is one of the main reasons for giving gift cards with 39 per cent of respondents noting the advantages of redeeming both online and in-store. Some additional survey findings include:

  • 55 per cent of Canadians said that they save gift cards they receive to use at the right moment
  • 46 per cent of respondents who said they redeem gift cards online prefer to do so because they can access online exclusive products and offers
  • 46 per cent of respondents who said they redeem gift cards online also prefer to do so because there’s more variety of items to choose from