How does the Consumption Voucher Scheme affect the gift card market in Hong Kong?
Here in Hong Kong, it is not as common as in Europe or in the U.S. that we purchase
vouchers or gift cards for friends and family. Rather, it is a practice mainly in the B2B section. With the consumption voucher scheme, things may change a bit.
The consumption voucher scheme is to encourage and boost local consumption. Under the scheme, a total value of $5000 electronic consumption voucher will be disbursed to each eligible person. On 1 Aug 2021, the first round of evouchers have been distributed and about 5.5 million people have already received it. Starting from end of July, promotions from retailers and hotels can be seen everywhere.
It is no surprise that we are asked by our friends and family how are we going to spend the money. According to study, 70% of the consumers plan to spend on grocery and dinning. It is worth noting that over 50% of them intend to spend more on top of the consumption voucher to purchase more expensive products such as consumer electronics.
With the sole purpose to boost consumption, the vouchers should be used in not more than 5-7 months, depending on which ewallet to receive the voucher. No doubt, merchants want to capture as many business as possible.
They encourage consumers to purchase their cash vouchers so that they can capture the expenses while consumers can use it as a means to delay their purchase. For the first time, the major retailers offer discount or benefits with the purchase of their cash vouchers. Café de Coral Group, one of the largest catering group in Hong Kong, expected the launch of its digital voucher would bring double digital growth.
COVID19 changed the usual practice in many industries and merchants have no choice but to adopt to technology and create new options to consumers. Moving forward, we will see how the local market respond to such changes.