The European gift card market has seen significant growth over the past few years. However, the gift card market growth in the region in 2020 has been impacted due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has had adverse effect on the social and economic condition in Europe. Real GDP fell by about 40% in Q2’20 (annualized quarter-over-quarter), with greater contraction in advanced Europe, where the virus spread first, as compared to emerging Europe. Moreover, the pandemic is worsening in the region. As per Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UK is the most affected by the pandemic and by the end of 2021 the UK economy is expected to be 6% smaller than pre- COVID crisis.
The impact of COVID-19 has increased the demand for online services beginning from daily essentials to gift items. Retailers and merchants have been focusing on having an online presence to reach to a greater audience especially in these challenging times. Many retailers have started launching volunteer e-gift cards. For instance, in April 2020, Marks & Spencer and Asda launched volunteer e-gift cards in the UK. These gift cards can be bought through companies’ websites.
In May 2020, Blackhawk Network launched digital gift card which can be sent to the receiver’s phone and can be redeemed at 60,000 stores in the UK and Ireland. The gift card can be used to make contactless payment at these stores. The impact of this pandemic is expected to last longer and will also change the way people interact with retail infrastructure. Increased dependency on digital platforms will also create significant growth opportunities for gift cards going forward.
This offering from PayNXT360 is a bundled offering, combining 15 country reports (Norway, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Switzerland, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Russia).
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