RSR Research’s Fourth Digital Gift Card Benchmark Study Identifies Brands That are Perfecting the Omni-Channel Gifting Experience

CashStar Clients Sephora, Starbucks and The Home Depot Rank Highest

Research Firm Shares Twelve Step Guide to Better Digital Gifting

SEATTLE--()--RSR Research unveiled the results of its fourth benchmarking study on the digital gifting industry, “Digital Gift Cards: Rewriting the Gifting Rules in the Omni-Channel Age,” which thoroughly evaluates the gifting experiences of the nation’s top retailers in key verticals such as apparel, beauty, footwear and accessories, and sports and outdoors, as well as restaurant brands.

For this year’s evaluation, RSR focused on differentiating capabilities, rather than the features that have become industry standards, including both mobile and social experiences, to reflect the evolving use of digital gift cards in omni-channel commerce. In addition, RSR added criteria around retailers’ prioritization of gifting as a whole, the ability to digitally “thank” a gift giver, and integration with retailers’ loyalty and marketing programs. Based on this year’s criteria, the brands with the highest overall scores across verticals, and therefore the most comprehensive omni-channel digital gifting offerings, are:

1. Sephora
2. Starbucks
3. The Home Depot
4. Best Buy
5. Dunkin’ Donuts

Sephora, which has ranked among the top five spots for the past two years, took the number one spot for the first time this year. “We consider digital gifting an integral part of our marketing strategy and are committed to innovation in this area,” said Bridget Dolan, Vice President, Digital Marketing at Sephora. “We’re honored to be recognized by RSR for our engaging gifting experiences across channels and devices, including mobile.”

For the second year in a row, RSR examined the top retailers and restaurants in verticals where gift cards are highly relevant. Leaders within their respective industries are as follows:

Category           Retailer
Apparel           Gap Inc.
Apparel – Youth           Aéropostale
Apparel – Sports & Fitness           lululemon athletica
Apparel – Women’s           Victoria’s Secret
Beauty           Sephora
Books/Music           Amazon
Computers/Electronics           Best Buy
Department Store           Sears
Footwear & Accessories           Coach
General Merchandise           QVC
Hardware/Building Supply           The Home Depot
Home Goods & Furnishings           Williams-Sonoma
QSR           Starbucks
Restaurant           The Cheesecake Factory
Sports & Outdoors           Gander Mountain
Toys & Games           Toys”R”Us

“Digital gifting adoption has come a long way in the few years we’ve been conducting this research, with the number of brands offering digital gift cards virtually doubling since 2010 and the experiences improving by leaps and bounds,” commented Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR Research. “But, as the report points out, there is still work to be done to fine-tune offerings, such as improving discoverability on Web-based and mobile channels. It was also evident this year that brands are starting to think about better integrating gifting and marketing programs—an area where we see a lot of potential to further engage consumers and capture additional sales.”

“RSR’s benchmark study gives retail and restaurant brands an honest look at what they are doing right — and, more importantly, the areas they need to improve upon in order to deliver an optimal experience across all consumer touchpoints,” said Ben Kaplan, president and CEO of CashStar. “Overall, it’s exciting to see leading retailers across the industry increasingly embrace digital gifting and we congratulate our clients who top the list and partner with us to drive digital gifting innovation year after year.”

To obtain a full copy of the report with the evaluation criteria, the scores achieved by each of the retailers and restaurants, the top brands in each sector, and RSR’s twelve step guide to improving the digital gifting experience, please visit or email for a copy.

Brands that were ranked in the RSR report can request a customized consultation and research brief from CashStar. To request a consult, simply request a meeting or visit the CashStar booth (#605) at the Annual Summit.

About RSR Research

Retail Systems Research (“RSR”) is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large. RSR’s services include benchmark reports covering the state of retailer technology adoption for topics ranging from merchandising and supply chain, store operations and workforce management, to customer-facing and multi-channel technologies. Custom research reports provide more in-depth views into topics of industry interest, and advisory services help retailers and technology vendors make the most of the insights RSR provides. To learn more about RSR, visit

About CashStar, Inc.

CashStar is the leading provider of omni-channel digital gifting solutions for the world’s top brands. The CashStar platform enables retailers and restaurants to maximize sales, eliminate fraud risk, increase customer engagement and drive adoption of mobile payments. More than 300 leading brands worldwide rely on CashStar to power the most innovative and advanced prepaid and digital gifting programs, including Best Buy, Brookstone, Coach, Crate & Barrel, Dell, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gap, lululemon athletica, Office Depot, Petco, Pottery Barn, QVC, Sephora, Staples, Starbucks, The Cheesecake Factory, The Home Depot and Williams-Sonoma. To learn more, please visit, follow @CashStar or e-mail


fama PR
Keri Bertolino, 617-986-5007

Release Summary

In its fourth digital gifting study, RSR Research thoroughly evaluated the gifting experiences of the nation’s top retail and restaurant brands.


fama PR
Keri Bertolino, 617-986-5007