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What brands should know about the rise of gifting during the pandemic

Giftano saw a 350% increase in the number of gifts purchased through its platform for a variety of occasions

Amid a gloomy economic outlook, e-commerce has been the bright spark for the retail sector. The Drum looks at how the new reality will provoke businesses to pay closer attention the consumer experience and to trends such as gifting.

One of the biggest trends in 2020 was the massive jump in the number of wedding and newborn baby gifts purchased.

Singapore-based e-commerce gifting platform Giftano saw a 500% increase in the number of wedding gifts purchased from local buyers during Singapore’s lockdown, officially known as the ’circuit breaker’, and subsequent reopening.

Due to the restrictions of gatherings for big milestone events like weddings, consumers have turned to online gift shopping to deliver well wishes to their friends and loved ones.

“Another trend was observed that there has been a noticeable growing trend of last-minute shopping for gifts across gender segments,” explains Jesper Gustafsson, chief executive officer and founder of Giftano.

“The data also indicated that younger consumers were more likely to leave their shopping to the last minute, in part due to the convenience of purchasing online and the fast delivery being offered. These trends are still observed in Q1 of 2021 and we foresee a growth in these areas – the demand for wedding and newborn baby gifts as well as last-minute gifting.”

While 2020 saw a shift in the way consumers give to their friends and loved ones, the new normal has seen an increased demand for all-out professional gifting services.

Giftano saw a 350% increase in the number of gifts purchased through its platform for a variety of occasions, for example. The top three categories where consumers bought the most gifts were dining experiences, spa experiences and retail gift cards in general.

Gustafsson predicts 2021 is set to be a year of continuous growth, and plans to make its search engine experience a better one, with the ultimate aim being an all-in-one gifting solution and service for Giftano’s customers.

The main challenge, he says, has been educating brands on the upsides of digital gifting. Gift cards and vouchers – the traditional for gift purchases – are still largely handed traditionally, as physical copies. Gustafsson says getting big corporates to change the way of distribution and accept digital gifts has been difficult.

“In developed markets like Singapore we believe the shift to more experiential gifting will continue. With more people having most of the physical things they need it makes it harder and harder to find great gifts which will come to use,” he explains.

“As a result, we see gift buyers turning to experience gifting to an even bigger extent than now. You can never have too many experiences in your life. The digital transformation will also continue and we believe it has just started. Traditional physical gifts will continue to play an important role but the digitalisation of gifts will lead to more gifts being given even for times when you are unable to meet in person to hand over a gift. We also believe the sourcing and buying of gifts will continue to go online.”

He adds: “We therefore strive every day to continue to add great gifting options to our website and make the gift discovery process as easy as possible by letting customers find gifts based on the occasion or the specific person, they are looking to purchase a gift for.”

The habits developed by consumers throughout Covid-19 are not ones that will likely fade away. The Drum previously spoke to Deliveroo on what the platform is learning from pandemic insights.