Behind the scenes

Vouchers booming on Digitec Galaxus: what uncreative gift-givers we are!

Alex Hämmerli
Alex Hämmerli
Zurich, on 18.07.2022
Pictures: Christian Walker
Translation: Katherine Martin

Within three years, Digitec Galaxus has quadrupled the sale of gift vouchers. When it comes to cashing them in, recipients mostly go for consumer electronics. But toys as well as DIY and gardening products are catching up in leaps and bounds.

Just what exactly should I get my cousin as a wedding present? What would my granddaughter be happier with: a video game or a new controller for her console? What does my colleague want for their work anniversary? In dilemmas like these, more and more consumers are taking the easy route: instead of giving gifts in kind, they’re opting for vouchers. And an increasing number of these vouchers are being purchased on sister platforms Digitec and Galaxus.

More specifically, Digitec Galaxus saw voucher sales increase by 357 per cent between 2018 and 2021. During the same period, the online retailer pretty much doubled its total sales (+114%). Which means the voucher business has grown disproportionately. And this year, voucher sales are set to shoot up again by more than 30 per cent (see chart).

So far, the gift voucher boom has taken hold at a lower level in Germany and Austria than in the company’s home market of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. But it has been more dynamic: since 2019, voucher sales in Germany have increased more than sevenfold (+660%). Galaxus has been available in Germany since the end of 2018, while Austria has had access to the platform since autumn 2021.

Pretty much everything

Digitec Galaxus sees its growing product range as the main reason for the voucher boom: in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the online retailer now offers almost 4.4 million products, while in Germany and Austria the figure is almost 1.2 million. «Anyone who’s received a voucher as a gift will find a very wide range of products here», says Brand Communications Manager Madeleine Bello. At Digitec Galaxus, Madeleine occasionally works with companies which purchase vouchers for their customers and employees. She knows: «Our huge selection of products makes our vouchers appealing – both to the people getting gifts and the people giving them.»

Vouchers are also a popular choice when the product somebody’s looking for isn’t available at that particular moment. In the last few months, this has often been the case for game consoles, graphics cards or cameras – in other words, products that have been hit particularly hard by international production and supply bottlenecks.

Gifts for little ones

With this in mind, it’s not exactly surprising that Digitec and Galaxus customers tend to trade in their vouchers for consumer electronics such as headphones, drones or game consoles, closely followed by mobile phones. After products for the home and kitchen, office and gaming accessories are popular, too.

On the other hand, products for babies and parents, toys, supermarket goods and items for DIY enthusiasts and hobby gardeners have been catching the eye of voucher-holders more and more in recent years. Meanwhile, consumer electronics and mobile phones are losing their grip on the top spot.

Joy to the world

Gift vouchers are especially popular before Christmas – in November and December, that is. At the end of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic rendered large gathering impossible over Christmas, Digitec and Galaxus customers bought almost as many vouchers as in the preceding ten months of the year. In 2021, sales returned to pre-pandemic patterns.

Ever given or received a gift voucher? What did you buy with it? And what’s your stance on gift vouchers as presents? Are they uncreative or practical? Join the discussion in the comments section!

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Alex Hämmerli
Senior Public Relations Manager
alex.haemmerli@digitecgalaxus.ch

At digitec and Galaxus, I’m in charge of communication with journalists and bloggers. Good stories are my passion – I am always up to date.


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