India is a land of mixed culture, unique traditions, numerous festivals, and multiple celebrations. Gone are the days when celebrations were limited to delicious food, gorgeous clothing, and traditional music. Now, the celebrations have gone cosmopolitan with significantly transformed approach of people who love to surprise others with gifts. From birthdays, marriages to baby showers and house warming, gifts have become the inevitable component. In corporate world also, gifts are serving a lot of personal and professional requirements.
There has been a recent surge and exponential growth in the gifting industry due to huge demand from the customer’s side and innovative gifting solutions from the supplier’s side along with availability of online gifts due to revolution of ecommerce. The size of gifting market in India is estimated at USD 40-42 billion with many of the players claiming an annual growth of 20 to 40 percent. Of this, only market worth USD 400 million is online. This is quite alarming and encouraging for new comers in the industry who have tremendous opportunities of growth lying down the lane. Behind all the growth and change in scenario for gifting industry lies the trend and behavior of customers who push forward an industry towards growth.
Evolution of Indian Customers
The choice, approach, and opinion of Indian customers have significantly changed over the time for gifting. Now they have the willingness and the ability to afford unique and innovative products which earlier was quite missing. This premium upgrade in customer’s behavior can be attributed to five major factors:
- Surge in economic growth
- Rising disposable income
- Increased aspirations
- Exposure to global trends
- Popularity of long distance gifting
With more conscious customers, the demand for personal gifting has just shoot up sharply. Even the occasions for gifting have transgressed their own age old boundary including birthdays, anniversaries and a few festivals. Now, catching up with global trend, Indians love to buy father’s Day gifts, Mother’s day gifts, Valentine’s Day gifts,Friendship Day gift,Christmas gifts and new year gifts along with many others adding up to the list. Today’s customers really want a touch of style, uniqueness, and personalization in their gifts to match their status and emotional aspirations.
If we categorize the gifting industry, it broadly falls in three major categories.
Festival gifting industry accounts to $7.5 billion and its humungous growth is incomparable. Celebration Christmas and Diwali with gifts was prevalent, but now people prefer to present Dusshera gifts, gifts for regional festivals, new year gifts, valentines gift, and others. Those living away from their families send gifts to their loved on these festivals to stay connected and maintain the warmth of their relationships.
Personal gifting industry accounts to $20 billion. These gifts are bought throughout out the year and are not confined to any particular season. Birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, welcome and farewell gifts, gifts to say thanks and presenting gifts to someone on meeting after too long are some of the gifting occasions that fall in this category. People love to buy gifts or order them online for their loved ones which has pushed the market for personal gifts to an all-time high.
Corporate gifting industry is estimated around $ 2.5 billion. This has seen a recent surge with corporate organizations getting more conscious about their employees and clients. Organizing family events, performance rewards to the employees, team get together, welcome and farewell of employees, and occasional gifting to the clients have carved good space for the corporate gifting industry in its niche.
The occasion of gift can be any, but the gifts presented majorly belong to two categories.
A decade ago, food gifting mainly consisted of traditional sweets. But with increasing incidences of adulterations and people getting conscious about it, there was a swift move to other food gifts that were consistent in quality and taste delicious. Brands played an important role in this and with coming up of Cadbury’s celebrations and other chocolate gifting solutions, the concept was entirely changed. It attracted people with their beautiful packaging, standard looks, and easy to store and ship features. Ferraro, another chocolate manufacturer, succeeded in promoting its luxury chocolates as a gifting item through catering to the prosperous consumers and targeting occasions and festivals. Similarly, Godrej, Haldiram, Parley, Dunkin donuts, and other FMCG companies offer gift hampers in chocolates, bakery, and gourmets during the festive seasons to catch up with the rising demand.
There are endless numbers of products in this category that range from apparels,electronics, gadgets, jewelry to home décor items. People even love to present tour & travel packages to their loved ones on occasions like wedding and anniversaries. However, watches, jewelry, perfumes, dresses and personalized mementos are the most preferred items. The extent of products under non-food gifting items could be anything based on the buyers choice.
Importance of eCommerce in the Gifting Industry
The most radical change brought in the gifting space is through the ecommerce companies. Giants like amazon,flipkart, and snapdeal have separate sections for gifts that flood the customers with plethora of options they cannot resist to buy. Again in festivals and occasions, their special festive offers and discounts on gifts bring more customers to shop online. Along with these, major player in the offline space like ferns and petals, Nature’s basket, foodhall, archies, hallmark, and others, considering the tremendous online growth opportunity, have brought their stores online increasing their reach to maximum number of customers. From sweets, bakery, confectionary, flowers, chocolates, to jewelry, watches, perfumes, and others, everything is available online that too qualifying for long distance deliveries. With severe time paucity and distances separating the families, ecommerce is playing a commendable role in gaping up this distance though delivering gifts. The speed at which internet penetration is deepening in India, gifting industry awaits ever more pace to get propelled.
Gifting in India, in both physical and online stores, has yet to attain greater height. The determining factor for its growth will be quick supplies, occupied shelf space, inventory management, supply chain responsiveness, manufacturing agility & reliability, logistics, innovative product launch, and attractive packaging. It is indeed an exciting time to be in this space with such promising future ahead.
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