Online gifting is gradually growing especially in countries like the UK- with more than 10 percent of them bought on the Web last year, up from roughly 8 percent in 2011. Gifting vendors and retailers need to be mindful of this development. A recent article in The MarketingWeek by Lucy Tesseras tried to study other trends relevant to the domain of gifting as follows:

Amazon became number one in terms of volume and value this Christmas as a result of broadening its gifting categories,” stated Kantar consumer research analyst Trevor Mears. “Although entertainment and tech are still its mainstay, it has broadened out into clothing and household goods and I can see that happening across the board for other events.”

For gifting as a whole, the importance of the internet is continuing to rise with the emergence of dedicated gifting websites such as Notonthehighstreet and Buyagift playing an increasingly relevant role. Similarly, the introduction of click and collect services has helped to break down some of the barriers to purchase.

Whatever the buying method, retailers need to be quick off the mark to promote events such as Mother’s Day and capitalize on consumers’ willingness to spend more if the options are available. Total spend for Mother’s Day gifts in the UK was £409m in 2012, with 21 million gift purchases, accounting for 2 per cent of the overall gift-buying market.

To put it into context, the total value of the gifting market is £40bn. Valentine’s Day gifts contribute 1 per cent of that sum with £308m spent on 11 million gifts. Christmas is the largest of the gift-buying events, representing 36 per cent of all gifts bought in the UK, while Easter accounts for 3 per cent. Mears says: “Two per cent of all gifts bought is quite a big proportion. It’s bigger than Valentine’s Day, but that links into the fact that more people have got a mother than have a lover.”

Online buying is not as significant for Mother’s Day as it is for other events, again because of the categories that lead. Mears reasoned: “People want to be able to see and smell flowers before buying them and want to know they will last. There’s been a lot of work done by retailers on same-day and next-day delivery, but the experience of buying fresh flowers is not yet there on the internet.”

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