Alison Hewitt, our colleague from UCLA Today, has posted a cool Q&A with UCLA Anderson Assistant Professor of Marketing Suzanne Shu. We've had the pleasure of writing about Shu a couple of times this year, once regarding our collective addiction to daily deals and also regarding the value of an "attractive" annual report. Hewitt's story discusses how those gift cards we all receive during the holidays actually "trick our psyche."
According to the UCLA Today story, "Shu says Americans leave billions of dollars on the table each year in the form of unused and forgotten gift cards. Studies have found that 5-10 percent of these plastic presents go unspent, and the 2010 Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll found about 27 percent of people still hadn't spent their cards from the previous year."
"People create this ideal about when they want to use a gift card or what they want to use it for. Then they go looking for that ideal. It’s similar to the problem people have with using frequent flier miles or vacation days: The numbers of leftover days or miles are huge. People think, 'I’d better use those on something really special.' They’re so focused on finding the ideal match that they wait and then forget or lose them.
To find out the details on why we're not using our gift cards, click here.
(Photo courtesy Alison Hewitt, UCLA Today.)