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How Customisation is Boosting the Online Gifting Industry Rising aspirations and awareness are some reasons for the growth of personalized gifting

By Bharath Sastry

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India's gifting industry has witnessed a sea-change with technology coming into the scene. Online gifting has gained massive popularity in recent times and is expected to reach $84 billion by 2024. From a broad perspective, the online gifting industry is segregated into corporate and personal gifting with the former accounting for up to 80 per cent of the market.

Personal gifting, at the same time, has evolved to a large extent to accommodate the growing demands of customers. Let us take a look at how customization has boosted the online gifting industry.

The Digital Factor

Digitization has transformed lifestyles and played a pivotal role across almost all industries. Technology, as it has done with other industries, has made the gifting industry a customer-friendly space. You can now choose from numerous options with just a single click. Technologies such as digital printing have ensured increased efficiency, minimal wastage and an overall seamless process.

Increased Personalization

Increased adoption of personalized gifts by customers has been instrumental in the growth of the online gifting industry. More and more customers are looking to customize gifts for their loved ones, and they are leaving no stones unturned to find the perfect gift. This demand has also led online gifting businesses to come up with a wider range of products that can be personalized. It is no longer merely photo frames or coffee mugs. Right from cushions to puzzles and cricket bats, everything comes with the option of customization.

Online gifting and printing companies have grabbed this opportunity with both hands. Customized products account for over $20.4 billion in the gifting industry and there is no doubt that this will continue to increase. Although gifting is a slightly seasonal business with festival times seeing a rapid increase in business compared with the rest of the year, the gifting industry has still managed to sustain and generate profits. Additionally, factors such as creative packaging and ways of incorporating the customization into the product have ensured that customers continue to purchase products round the year.

The influence of western culture has also played a notable role in the industry's rapid growth. Occasions such as Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and so on have driven people to buy personalized gifts. Apart from this people have also innovatively used motifs of local festivals and rituals to personalize their gifts. Another factor to be taken into account is the increasing awareness and the rising per capita income of the millennial who constitute a major chunk of the population. Everyone enjoys gifts that are personal because they show the thoughtfulness and effort put into choosing the gift.

The Road Ahead

The future of the online gifting industry, especially with customized gifting on the rise, certainly looks promising, not just for the business but for the environment too. An increasing number of people are opting for eco-friendly products and packaging, especially the millennial and Gen Z consumers. Given the rapid technological advancements along with the booming e-commerce industry, the future of the online gifting industry in India is set to witness an upward swing and contribute significantly to the economy over the coming years.

Bharath Sastry

CEO, Vistaprint India

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