RSR Research unveiled the results of a benchmarking report entitled, “Digital Gift Cards: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.” This is the third time RSR has conducted an evaluation of top retailers’ digital gifting experiences. Based on the evaluation criteria, the retailers with the highest overall scores, and therefore the most comprehensive digital gift card offerings, are:

1. The Home Depot

2. Sephora

3. Starbucks

4. Dunkin’ Donuts

5. The Cheesecake Factory

The Home Depot has earned the #1 ranking by RSR all three years of the report. “We are proud to be named the best in digital gifting by RSR. We know innovation in the digital gift card arena is vital to providing our customers with the best experience, something we strive to do in every area of our business,” says Spencer Allen, senior director gift cards and CRM at The Home Depot.

RSR found that, as a whole, digital gifting experiences are improving. According to the report, retailers with the best rankings have recognized that digital gifting is different than traditional online product sales, and as a result have streamlined the checkout process to include fewer screens, offer rich personalization capabilities, have convenient card management on mobile devices, and have strong and responsive customer service departments.

As the digital gift card market evolves, RSR updates the evaluation criteria to focus on differentiating capabilities like mobile, social, and tablets, rather than the features that have become industry standards. The report evaluates digital gifting programs on 21 criteria across five categories: discoverability/awareness, desirability/conversion, recipient experience, social integration, and mobile. And for the first time, RSR took a more sector-based approach, evaluating the top retailers and restaurants across a number of verticals in which gift cards are highly relevant. Digital gift card purchases were conducted by RSR in July and August 2013.

“This year we really raised the bar in terms of the evaluation criteria, focusing on truly exceptional experiences. We commend The Home Depot and each of the category winners for continuing to outpace the competition when it comes to digital gifting,” says Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR Research.

Leaders within their respective industries are as follows:






Gap Inc.

Apparel – Luxury

Ralph Lauren


Apparel – Sports & Fitness


Apparel – Women’s










Best Buy


Department Store




Finish Line


General Merchandise

Liberty Interactive (QVC)

Hardware/Building Supply

The Home Depot

Home Goods & Furnishings

Crate & Barrel





The Cheesecake Factory


Sports & Outdoors

L.L. Bean


Toys & Games

Toys “R” Us


“The gifting experience – whether it is a gift card or a traditional product purchase – is a retail brand’s opportunity to influence two parties – the buyer and the recipient. By providing an exceptional experience, a retailer can essentially create two brand enthusiasts when before there may have just been one,” says Steven Boal, CEO at CashStar. “We’re encouraged by RSR’s findings that digital gifting has become a priority for more retailers than in years past and would like to congratulate the CashStar clients that scored well in this year’s report.”

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