With 73% of consumers planning to purchase gift cards this year, gift cards are likely to be a notable driver of profits this holiday season [1]. Most recently, retailers like Home Depot, CVS, and the Container Store have gone digital, ditching the plastic and adding electronic gift cards to their websites. These expansions are reflected in search patterns - search volume in "gift cards" has trended above 2008 levels throughout the season.

But the selling of gift cards is just one part of the equation - gift card redemptions can come just days or even months after the gift is received. As we discussed yesterday, consumers are expected to head online to both research and purchase post-holiday and, as we can see below, searches for "gift card redemption" peak just following the holidays and last through mid-January.

With that, the opportunity is ripe to reach these gift-card recipients. Top rising "gift card" searches over the last 30 days include those focused on discounted and printable gift cards, as well as those from top retailers.

Target these recipients through post-holiday campaigns that encourage gift card redemption.

Source: [1] Google/OTX Consumer Intentions for Holiday 2009, September 2009. n= 2002. [2] Google Insights for Search, 2009.