By Vivek Gupta
Gifting has always been a part of Indian tradition and culture; a way to express love, gratitude, appreciation and good wishes. In the past decade, rising income levels, changing consumption patterns, nuclearisation of families, emigration, work-life balance and women's empowerment have led to a sharp change in the nature and form of gifting.
The evolving scenario in gifting has also been aided by the advent of technology and internet penetration. This has led to ease in gifting, enabling a range of gifting experiences, making the gifting industry flourish.
The e-gifting industry is also seeing fast growth in experiential gifts.
Technovation in gifting is similar to how Fintech companies are revolutionising monetary transactions. As the mobile and internet are revolutionising the way people interact socially and make payments, it is also changing the way people gift each other. Though it is still the beginning of this new trend, gift tech is rapidly becoming an acceptable way of gifting for the mobile-enabled Indian.
Adding to this, the world economy today is driven by millennials, who bring their own unique flavour to gifting. Millennials live in an impulsive world, stimulated by social media. Besides being educated, they are tech-savvy and super-connected and have the capacity to spend well. The number of occasions for gifting is not just confined to festivals but also includes several personal moments. They want to make these moments thoughtful, warm and full of personal attention.
Here are the key trends helping the gifting industry boom:
* E-Gifting: While cash is seen as impersonal and a physical gift may not be liked by the receiver, e-gifting offers the flexibility to buy anything, anytime and anywhere. E-gifting's rising popularity is also because it offers greater choice to the buyer and receiver. It also comes in multiple forms: E-vouchers, branded gift cards, gift cards and virtual currency, each one of which comes with a variety of features and benefits.
* Gift Cards: Gift cards are available in both digital and physical formats; they are often offered in tie-ups with banks, retailers and e-commerce platforms for gratification options. The flexibility to choose what one likes is the driving force for gift cards in the e-gifting industry.
* Currency Gifting: Monetary value in e-gift holds high importance with millennials. Hence, digital currency gifting is gaining momentum. Multiple brands have joined with the gift-tech companies to cater to this segment. With built-in rewards points and cumulation of gift credits, the users are actively seeking the new age gifting paradigm.
* Experiential Gifting: From an array of products to bespoke services like holiday, spa/beauty treatment, fine-dine, luxurious hotel stay, etc. the e-gifting industry is also seeing fast growth in experiential gifts. This form of gifting can help curate a unique unforgettable experience from the giver and for the receiver.
(Vivek Gupta is Co-founder and CEO of Storecheq)