Gift Cards are the wild card of Christmas retailing.
Consumers love these little plastic wonders, and for good reason. No longer do you have to receive a scarf from Aunt Priscilla for Christmas.
But for multichannel catalogers, gift cards represent significant challenges.
Many multichannel businesses record transactions from customers who redeemed gift cards. Not many multichannel businesses record transactions from the customer purchasing gift cards.
These are the transactions that are fun to pay attention to.
If you can segment gift card customers, watch their behavior during the rest of the year. In fact, purchaser and redeemer behavior can be put in the context of a robust Multichannel Forensics analysis ... you could have three channels, say online buyers, gift card buyers, and gift card redeemers.
One would analyze the repurchase habits of each group. Furthermore, one would pay close attention to the product these customers purchase. This is a topic of increasing importance for inventory managers, given that some businesses do 10% or more of their "volume" in gift cards during the final few weeks before Christmas.