Customised Gifting has changed the dynamics of traditional gifting market: Jayesh Shah

The tradition of gifting is as old as time itself. Giving a gift is the simplest way of expressing friendship and warmth, and in some cultures, it even denotes respect and acknowledgement.

This makes gifting a unique space to be in because whether it is for something as simple as the onset of spring, or once in a lifetime occasions like matrimony, or over festivals celebrating familial bonds like Rakhi, India is wrapped up in festivities all year round and surrounded by gifts & warm wishes. The assimilation of Western culture to commemorate various days also adds to the reasons of gifting.

The gifting industry in India has registered a strong growth over the past decade and the market is currently experiencing a revolution with new product innovations at attractive prices accompanied by an excellent buying experience. The trends highlighted are expected to only grow in the years to come and can result in radical changes in the online gifting space in terms of product offerings, channels, packaging, events and occasions, customer needs and gifting innovations.

The gifting market is segmented into two parts, corporate gifting, personal gifting and customized gifting, with the corporate gifting making up the bulk at ~80% of the overall market share. The penetrationof a ecommerce and increased per capita income of the millennials is disrupting the overall growth of the gifting market in India further giving customers ease and satisfaction.

Customized Gifting is on the rise and an ever-higher number of occasions are being added to the tally which includes not only anniversaries and birthdays, but also Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day, among others. The consumers of today want a touch of style, uniqueness and personalization in their gifts. This has triggered many gifting companies to come up with innovative and personalized collections of presents to deliver a uniquegifting experience to customers. Customized watches, Table clocks, Chocolates, stationery are quite standard & popular in the customized gift segment.

Ecommerce has played a key role for the market to move from Digital Greeting cards to prepaid gift cards. Gift Cards are different from gift vouchers, which can only be used once, while purchasing products. Unlike gift cards, gift vouchers do not allow any partial redemption, wherein balance funds can be carried over for further purchases.

With the digital growth in India, the concept of gift vouchers through social media gifting will soon be introduced to our consumers as well. E-retailers will have a major advantage as gifting will give them the chance to engage with its targeted consumers and get timely feedback.

The evolution of the Indian customer has played a key role in bringing about this revolution, as the customers have both the willingness and the ability to pay for unconventional gifting options. Factors like creative packaging, personalised note, initials engraved boxes etc render all together a seamless experience showing an extra effort emphasised on showing care, thankfulness and gratitude.

Some of the Key factors which contributes in the evolution of personalised gifting market in India are:

Increase in Purchasing power of the millennials: Increase in purchasing power coupled with aspirational living has further contributed in changing consumer buying behaviour. Affluent lifestyle and recent buying needs of the aspirants have resulted in a massive shift in the consumer buying behaviour. People today are moving from traditional gifting options like customised watches, tables watches, edibles and greeting cards are moving towards unique and unconventional customised gifting ideas which further transform a gift into a symbol or token of a personal bond.

Influence of western culture: This is one of the most significant factors contributing to the growth of personalised gifting market in India. Bigger players of the market and MNCs have brought in the concept of corporate gifting for their employees during festivals like Diwali, Christmas or New Years. Also, topical events like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving Day etc. have given an enormous boom to the overall personalised gifting market in India. Today, customers are open to wide options of gifting ideas both through online and offline retail which delivers great value capturing eternal bond and moments through a customised gift token.

Booming e-commerce industry: India over a decade have noticed an enormous boost of the online shopping experience in India. The advent of digitalisation, deeper internet penetration and efficient and smooth functioning of logistics have contributed to the growth of e-commerce industry in India. Today, customers are open to broader options online, even customers from Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities are contributing in the overall growth. E-commerce offers great value to their customers in a time efficient way at the best price.

Unconventional approach by retail brands: Today in this era of rapid competition, each brand is striving hard to gain recall value of their target customers. They constantly plan and strategies to come up with interesting and engaging concepts for customers along with exciting deals and offers to lure customers. Off-lately it has been observed that brands and designers are even using social media platforms likes Instagram and Facebook to showcase their unconventional work aesthetics to their consumers.

The future of customized gifting market in India is bright and will expect an upward swing as India is among the top emerging nations contributing to the growth of global gifting market space. The emergence of advanced technology and enhanced and secured payment structure are also contributing to the rapid growth to a great extent.

[This is an authored article by Jayesh Shah, CMD & CEO of Sonam Clock Limited. All views, opinions and expressions are personal and limited to the author.]