The citizens of the virtual world, also known as netizens, are increasing every year. The digital world has become an essential place to build one’s presence. The inception of online gifting industry in India started with the advent of the internet in the country. Since then, the industry has boomed into a business worth billions of dollars and today, most people prefer to shop/gift online. Corporate gifting dominates the gifting market by holding 80% of the overall segment, and the rest is covered by personal gifting. Even in that, personalised gifting has quadrupled over the last five years.
Online is a space where fads have a short life-span as the speed of evolution is very fast. However, there are some trends which have not only survived, but are only becoming increasingly holistic. Listed here are some of the trends to watch out for:
- Being niche – Hyper-localisation is a trend which is on the rise as social media penetration increases in tier 2 and tier 3 cities in the country. The efficiency of online gifting, along with convenience and timely delivery makes online gifting an attractive option.
- Social media–In the online space, as in the offline, reviews matter because they are highly influential. This avatar of word-of-mouth on social media helps to drive sales in the online gifting industry.
- Convenient delivery options–Customer is the king (and queen)on the internet. Convenience is a luxury which is easily accessible to the customer, right from selection, purchase and then delivery of the product. Self-collection option is also available for those who want to pick up the parcel themselves to reduce the delivery charge. Payment options are flexible with Cash on Delivery (COD), online payment modes and even EMIs available.
- Personalization–Personalised gifts add more value and meaning to the gesture of gift-giving. This has resulted in a shift in consumer buying behaviour from traditional to personalised gifting.
- Gift cards–Gift cards are highly convenient options for both parties. This not only prevents the imposition of a gift but also gives the recipient to flexibility to choose the gift as per their wish.
- Traditional gifts–Despite the wide adoption of western lifestyle, sale of traditional gifts such as flowers and chocolates, especially on special occasions like Valentine’s day or Mother’s day, will not go out of fashion anytime soon.
(Amit Desai is the Founder of GiftstoIndia24x7)