For the first time, consumers can now purchase liquor branded gift cards. Thirstie, a leading technology company that connects beverage alcohol brands with consumers, today announced the launch of gift cards specifically for alcohol brands, the first and only gift card solution of its kind in the United States.
This year, the company is launching its gift card solution with major spirits and celebrity backed brands.
Despite a strong consumer appetite for both gift cards and gifting alcohol, branded alcohol gift cards have never existed on the market, until now.
“At Thirstie, we were working to solve for a very real pain point with our industry, which was how to most effectively drive consumers to adopt branded e-commerce storefronts,” stated Thirstie CEO & Co-Founder, Devaraj Southworth. “While solutions like our data analytics continue to help brands reach their consumers, we tasked ourselves with thinking completely out-of-the-box and pushing the boundaries of innovation. By taking a concept like gifting and gift cards and applying it to the alcohol industry, we are enhancing a consumer behavior that already exists, rather than trying to force consumers to try something they are not completely familiar with. We are excited to bring the first and only liquor branded gift card solution to both the beverage alcohol and gift card industries and know it will further connect consumers to our brand partners’ e-commerce experience.”
A recent Thirstie survey of over 2,000 adult Americans found there is an overwhelming interest in liquor branded gift cards. Given the choice, nearly two times as many consumers would give a gift card for alcohol over a bottle, the survey found. Additionally, high-income consumers’ demand for a top-selling vodka brand gift card is 84.4%, exceeding the demand for leading retail gift cards such as Apple at 76.9% and Starbucks at 76.5%. The survey also showed that 77% of consumers prefer premium and value branded gift cards, criteria that many liquor portfolio companies represent.
The beverage alcohol and gift card industries have seen significant gains year over year and are both expected to continue growth. According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global beverage alcohol market is expected to reach $736 billion. Exceeding that market size and growth is the global gift cards industry which is projected to hit $1,922.87 billion by 2027, according to Allied Market Research.
Digital behaviors around gifting in both industries continue to accelerate. Across all Thirstie powered storefronts, 12% of all e-commerce orders were gifts from October 2020 – October 2021; that number jumped to 22% in December 2020. Within the gift card sector, online purchases of gift cards more than doubled in 2020, outperforming the growth in 2019, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com.
Thirstie powered gift cards will enable liquor brands to connect with their consumers through a full omnichannel approach. Brands now have the ability to offer gift cards through both their online storefront and in-store while driving traffic to their digital stores, as cards can only be redeemed through their Thirstie powered sites.
“Liquor branded gift cards will undoubtedly transform not one, but two, multi-billion dollar industries,” continued Southworth. “Our mission at Thirstie has and always will be to redefine the way consumers are interacting with their favorite brands. By putting brands in a position of control where they have the ability to directly connect with their fanbase, we have been able to solve a major pain point within the beverage alcohol industry. We are excited to take one step further by bringing this innovative solution to the market and helping brands drive consumer adoption to their e-commerce sites and meeting consumer demand while doing so.”
Much like branded e-commerce sites, gift cards give brands the ability to connect directly with their customers, while increasing consumer adoption to purchasing bottles online. Thirstie’s new gift card solution will arm companies with data insights and significantly increase their ROI, as seen from leading brands across other industries. As consumers spend on average 40% more than the value of a gift card, according to Blackhawk, brands leverage gift cards to increase cart size and boost revenue. Leading beverage and retail brand, Starbucks, recently reported that nearly half (45%) of its revenue comes from gift cards.
Despite growth driven by the pandemic and supply-chain issues, both physical and digital gift cards continue to be in high consumer demand. About 75% of millennials prefer to receive gift cards over physical presents, according to Blackhawk. The digital gift card market is also predicted to tio $1,101 Billion, globally, by 2030, according to Allied Market Research.
“Liquor gift cards will be game changing not just for Thirstie and its brand partners, but the industry at large,” stated Founder of Blackhawk Networks and Thirstie Advisor, Donald Kingsborough. “As the Founder of the largest gift card distribution company, the evolution of the industry has been something I’ve personally been very proud of. However, this solution will completely transform both the gifting and alcohol sectors at a scale that we have never seen before. I am honored to have worked with Thirstie on bringing this solution to life and couldn’t be more excited to be part of this innovation.”
Brands can learn more about Thirstie and its new liquor branded gift card solution by visiting www.thirstie.com.