06 Nov Gifting Trends for Christmas in a Pandemic
The smell of freshly cut pine, the brisk winter air, and carols ringing in the air, are just a few small reminders that Christmas is right around the corner. This year, however, things are set to be different.
While the world is learning to adopt to the new normal, the pandemic is bound to have an impact on how Christmas is celebrated around the world. While family gatherings might be smaller, there will be a near absence of parties of any form. Moreover, even the face of festive shopping has seen a change, albeit not so much in the numbers anticipated from sales.
Buying Trends Stay Optimistic
The economic downturn due to Covid-19 is expected to have a major impact on consumer behaviour. While retailers were afraid of a dip in shopping numbers due to job losses and income cuts, however, market surveys paint an optimistic picture. While people may have the same budget to spend on the holidays as that in 2019, the heartening factor is that there is not going to be a dip in the numbers. The trend indicates that despite financial difficulties, people don’t want to spend the festive season without family and indulgence.
According to Deloitte’s annual forecast for US, holiday retail sales are expected to mark a slight increase (1.5%) to touch up to $1,152 billion. E-commerce will occupy a big chunk of the sales, as more and more people find online shopping a safer and more convenient option. It is believed that retail sales could gain from a drastic drop in spending on Covid-sensitive services like outdoor dining and travel.
PwC’s 2020 US Holiday Outlook states that 61% of the shoppers that were surveyed showed a preference towards online shopping. Nothing is traditional about the upcoming Christmas, and that in itself is inspiring people to find the traditional in the most unconventional of circumstances.
Wellness, safety and moral values will be a focus, even when people are enthusiastic about shopping. People are expected to choose brands with an ethical stand that matches their beliefs, with a preference for products that give back to the society.
Furthermore, considering the tight budgets and distancing regulations this year, people are expected to spread out their holiday shopping. Where earlier, Black Friday and last moment-shopping used to see the biggest sales, this year it might not be the case. Shopping might start as early as October and move well into January. Deloitte anticipates e-commerce sales to see a jump of nearly 35% as compared to the previous year in US.
Gifts are essential during any festival and are likely to be a huge part of retail sales. Morning Consult survey in US said 35% of respondents are likely to set a budget of $100 and $300 for holiday gifts. Nearly 20% of those surveyed said they expected to spend more than $500 on gifts.
Simply said, these are gifts that will fit into your letterbox. Considering how difficult in-person exchange of gifts is going to be with the pandemic finding a second wind, this could be a great option. From a box of cookies, to pamper kits, the options are as endless as the gift-wrapping options out there.
This year, we will see a more back-to-basic gifting style, but with a twist. Chocolates, sweets, apparel, electronics and the likes will be demand. Décor items like lamps, different styled lights, digital photo frames as well as digital gifts like coupons to online stores or streaming subscriptions will also be popular.
With the global pandemic affecting millions physically and mentally, everyone needs a pick-me-up to distract them from the bleak scenario around them. In such times a smart, personalized gift could be the perfect option. Something as simple as a monogrammed diary, or a personalized tee could be a great gift.
Now more than ever, there is a need to put more thought into how and what we are gifting our family and friends. Try and make sure that the gift you are giving is relevant and functional to the individual receiving it. Functionality has become as important as aesthetics, and add to it a touch of personalization and you a winning gift on your hands.
We are living in times of a global pandemic, the whole world is focusing on ensuring that they are staying healthy and happy. Try cobbling together a wellness kit. It could be something as simple as a bottle of scented sanitizer, some comfortable masks, along with some books and/or the subscription of any one of the many OTT platforms.
The idea with the wellness kit is not just to ensure that your near and dear ones stay safe physically but that they are also taking care of their mental health. If you would have gifted a spa treatment at one point of time, how about sending a home-spa kit instead this year? It is these little thoughtfully picked items that would ensure that you are showcasing your concern and care towards the receiver.
Keep it Sustainable
One of the most important, and not so surprising, trends that emerged in 2020, is sustainable gifting. Boxes made from recycled paper, greeting cards made from the same, repurposed boxes, DIY gifting options, eco-friendly cutlery, or even home plants are just some of the sustainable gifting options that are in trend these days.
Christmas historically produces a mountain of waste and single-use plastic is at the top of the heap. More and more people are now becoming conscious about the importance of avoiding the use of plastic and environmentally detrimental products in gifting, something that is going to stand humanity in good stead moving forward.
Empathetic Corporate Gifting
As empathy takes a front seat, personalized and customized gifts will continue to be a priority. With most companies shifting employees to work from home, corporate gifting will also be big. Corporate gifts will be aimed at boosting employee morale and building interpersonal relationships.
Some of the options are budget-friendly themed hampers and things that families can enjoy together like games and sweets. Electronic items and desk essentials will be seen as great gifts for employees and clients as they are functional products that have high-recall value.
At Hue, having created festive gifting solutions for hundreds of our customers, we understand the importance of the right gift. You can check out our wide range of merchandise and customization services here, or simply write to us with any requests that you might have.