The Indian Online Gifting Industry, The Tailwinds To Its Growth

The online gifting platforms are witnessing an uptick in growth as customers find it convenient to send customised gifts to their loved ones irrespective of their location.


While reminiscing the good old days of the birthday celebrations of his college days, the friend sitting abroad surprises him with his favourite cake at midnight.  The distant friend that day thanked the existence of online gifting, for which he could send across the cake to his friend that too at midnight.

Online gifting has been on a growth trajectory in India after people enjoyed the convenience of gifting from a distant location to choose from multiple customisable gifting options for numerous occasions or sometimes it cannot be any occasion. After all, who needs an occasion to showcase love and affection.

According to a report from TechSci Research, the online gifting industry in India is projected to grow from $119 million in 2019 to $159 million by 2025. Over the years, the occurrence of gifting occasions has increased due to the rising influence of a western culture that has birthed new occasions such as sibling’s day, grandparent’s day, pet day, etc, which otherwise was limited to birthdays and marriage anniversaries.

The online gifting industry is divided into three gifting segments namely: festive, corporate, and personal. According to Technopak, the total size of the Indian corporate and personal gifting market combined is Rs 250,000 crore. Of this, the corporate gifting owns Rs 12000 crore and is estimated to grow over 200 percent per annum.

New trends in the Online Gifting industry

Corporate gifting into wellness and WFH products

Owing to the health crisis caused by Covid-19, the corporates are not just limiting themselves to appreciation letters and flexible working schedules for their employees. Companies are offering more wellness and work-from-home products ensuring the well-being and safety of employees. Wellness products like immunity-boosting teas, ayurvedic products, Vitamin C supplements, customised masks, hand sanitizers are some of the top gifting choices for corporates in gifting. This also bolsters corporate branding.

Green gifting

Most individuals are choosing to give meaningful gifts such as indoor plants over disposable gifts. The majority of the gift plants include bamboo, succulents, money plant, medicinal plants, and bonsai. These plants are associated with luck and promote healthy surroundings.

The pandemic effects

The preventive measures of the pandemic have taken away the shine from our celebrations since only a limited number of people can come over. People who are staying distant are showcasing their affection for friends and relatives by sending personalised gifts via online booking.

e-Gift cards

Gift givers sometimes offer e-gift cards to their loved ones. An e-gift card consists of a digital code that is emailed to the recipients. It is the most convenient gifting option for a wedding occasion or house warming ceremonies as several times the gifts are repeated. An e-gift card gives recipients the freedom to make purchases from retail, restaurants, furniture stores, etc. With a validity of over a year or 6 months, they can use it at their convenience.

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According to a report from TechSci Research, the online gifting industry in India is projected to grow from $119 million in 2019 to $159 million by 2025.

Tailwinds for the online gifting industry

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics

Leveraging AI, online gifting platforms are offering customers a seamless experience of gift selection, by asking users to fill in the information regarding gift recipient, occasion, the relationship between the recipient and gift-giver, and budget, The platform using a machine learning algorithm narrows the product options and zeroes down on the best gifting options. It also benefits the company to gain insights about the current gifting preferences and stock more such products.

The last-minute surprises

The ability to deliver delicious cakes, bouquets, chocolate boxes, and customised gifts late at night or midnight is a major factor for its growth. Anyone can now customise the date and time concerning the occasion. Some online gifting platforms have introduced same-day delivery.

Personalisation

The ability to personalise gifts within the click of a button is luring users to opt for online gifting. Products like – T-shirts, coffee mugs, photo frames, choice of flowers for a bouquet can be curated based on personal choices and needs. This makes the industry more consumer-centric.

The tech-savvy individuals

Millennials between the ages of 25-35 are tech-savvy and are caught in a hectic schedule. Instead of brainstorming about what gift to give, the individuals find it convenient to download an app, fill in the relevant details, select a gift among the recommendations and deliver the gift. They prefer the instant one-stop-shop and mobile concept of the online gifting segment for its efficiency.

How are online gifting platforms responding to the pandemic?

Despite facing disruptions in delivery, the online flower and gifting retailer Ferns N Petals, has registered a sales increase of 18 percent in the pandemic. With the world now boxed in a virtual culture, it has introduced a host of innovative virtual gifts that includes musician on video call (musical services of guitarist, violinist, flute player, etc), celebrity video messages, digital caricatures, dance class on call, E-greeting cards, etc.

To help corporates choose the best gifting options in the pandemic without visiting a store, Offineeds.com- a corporate gifting company has begun ‘The corporate gift show’. The video show format resembling Telebrands and Naaptol is an effective presentation of corporate gifting products explaining its features.

What lies ahead for the online gifting industry in India?

In the corporate gifting space, companies are realising the power of employee engagement and brand building, and now with a remote workforce, the surge in demand for corporate gifting will increase.

The local handicraft players can get a boost from the online gifting industry. Online gifting start-ups for more unique gifting options, can add terracotta products, mirror work crafts, wobbly head dolls and Channapatna toys.

Offering digital services of live musicians singing or playing an instrument of the recipient’s favourite song, or live dancers performing will give them an earning opportunity that has largely been hampered in the pandemic.

Shalmoli Sarkar
Shalmoli Sarkar
An MBA in marketing and a BTech in chemical engineering, Shalmoli writes on marketing strategies and business technology for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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