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Gifting - US - June 2019

Covered in this report

This report covers aspects of gifting, including giving and receiving gifts, occasions for gifting, types of gifts given and amount spent per gifting occasion, and use of gift registries. This report builds on the analysis presented in Gifting – US, July 2017.

"How consumers shop for gifts, what they give and occasions for giving is evolving. Birthdays and the winter holidays remain the most popular gifting occasions. However, self-gifting throughout the year, and the growing popularity of nontraditional gifting occasions (eg Singles’ Day), means retailers have an opportunity to promote spontaneous gift purchasing throughout the year. Retailers and brands that win business in the future will be those that add value, make gift shopping more convenient and more enjoyable for both the gift giver and the receiver."
- Fiona O'Donnell, Director - Multicultural, Lifestyles, Travel & Leisure

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Shopping for gifts occurs throughout the year
  • Gift shoppers are exploring their options
  • Give recipients more control over the gifts they receive
  • Promote registries for nontraditional occasions – and nontraditional gifts
  • Encourage people to treat themselves
  • Leverage social media to provide inspiration

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Scope
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The insights
            • Shopping for gifts occurs throughout the year
              • Figure 1: Gifting occasions, March 2019
            • Gift shoppers are exploring their options
              • Figure 2: Multichannel gift-shopping behaviors, March 2019
            • The opportunities
              • Give recipients more control over the gifts they receive
                • Figure 3: Attitudes toward receiving gifts, March 2019
              • Promote registries for nontraditional occasions – and nontraditional gifts
                • Figure 4: Future gift registry interest, by generation, March 2019
              • Encourage people to treat themselves
                • Figure 5: Self-gifting behaviors, by gender and age, March 2019
              • Leverage social media to provide inspiration
                • Figure 6: Social media attitudes and behaviors related to gifting, by age, March 2019
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Gifting market strong and growing
                  • Healthy economy drives discretionary spending
                    • More than one third of gift shoppers are online dominant
                      • Societal trends impact gifting occasions
                        • Annual number of births and birth rate continues to decline
                        • Market Value Indicators

                          • Spending during the winter holiday season crosses $700 billion
                              • Figure 7: Total winter holiday sales* in the US, 2015-18
                            • Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day lead for expectations to spend
                              • Figure 8: Expected spending* on other holidays in the US, 2015-18
                          • Market Drivers

                            • Positive economic environment drives discretionary spending
                              • Figure 9: Consumer Sentiment Index, January 2007-April 2019
                              • Figure 10: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000-April 2019
                            • Online is creating new opportunities for gifting
                              • Figure 11: Channels shopped for gifts, March 2019
                            • Millennials are more likely to go over budget – and to treat themselves
                              • Figure 12: Gifting habits – Budget and self-gifting, by generation, January 2019
                          • Market Factors

                            • Annual marriages on the rise, though rate continues steady decline
                              • Figure 13: Provisional number of marriages and marriage rate in the US, 2000-16
                            • Increasing number of singles means more opportunity to promote self-gifting
                              • Figure 14: Marital status of the population age 15 and over, in thousands, 2008-18
                            • Those who do get married put it off until later in life
                              • Figure 15: Average age at first marriage, by gender, 2008-18
                            • Births hit a 30-year low
                              • Figure 16: Annual births and fertility rate, 2007-17
                          • Analyst Perspective

                            • Gift shopping “experiences” will become more common
                              • Group gifts will encourage larger purchases from registries
                              • Key Trends in Gifting – What You Need to Know

                                • Major retailers building loyalty through registries, tech, personal service
                                  • Winter holiday shopping season starts earlier in the fall
                                    • Gifting occasions can happen at any time for any reason
                                    • Key Players

                                      • Amazon allows shoppers to collaborate on Wish Lists
                                        • Walmart makes its baby registry more user-friendly
                                            • Figure 17: Walmart baby registry tweet, April 2019
                                          • Crate and Barrel offers private registry events
                                            • Figure 18: Deer Park Town Center Crate and Barrel wedding registry event Facebook post, February 2019
                                          • Macy’s teams with Facebook on holiday pop-up shops
                                              • Figure 19: News coverage of Macy’s/Facebook pop-up, November 2018
                                            • Nordstrom provides Gift Scouts to help shoppers during the holidays
                                              • Figure 20: Nordstrom customer acquisition email, December 2018
                                            • Best Buy leverages user generated content to give shoppers gift ideas
                                            • What’s Working?

                                              • Gift givers feast on Thanksgiving week online deals
                                                • Figure 21: Online sales in the US, Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday, 2018
                                              • Self-gifting, just because
                                                • Figure 22: Self-gifting behaviors, by select demographics, March 2019
                                              • Gift registries can drive repeat business
                                                • Figure 23: Gift registry experience impact on shopping with a retailer, by key demographics, March 2019
                                            • What’s Struggling?

                                              • Mall-based specialty gifting retailers losing relevancy
                                              • What’s Next?

                                                • Retailers will more actively promote unconventional gifting occasions
                                                  • Figure 24: Aveda Singles’ Day customer acquisition email, November 2018
                                                  • Figure 25: BCBGMAXAZRIA Friendsgiving customer acquisition email, November 2018
                                                • Gift recipients will have more control over the gifts they receive
                                                  • Figure 26: GiftNow acquisition emails, Kenneth Cole – February 2019, Saks Fifth Avenue – December 2018
                                                • Chatbots will get smarter and offer more functions
                                                  • Figure 27: 1-800-Flowers.com Facebook Messenger chatbot examples, April 2019
                                                  • Figure 28: Burberry Facebook Messenger chatbot examples, April 2019
                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                • Traditional gifting occasions remain most popular
                                                  • Gift cards remain most popular, room for experiential gifting to grow
                                                    • Familiarity can take a retailer only so far with gift shoppers
                                                      • Gift buyers gravitate online for inspiration
                                                        • Gift registries will continue to evolve and include more types of gifts
                                                          • More than half struggle to come up with ideas for themselves
                                                          • Gifting Occasions

                                                            • Key takeaways
                                                              • Birthdays and winter holidays are the most popular gifting occasions
                                                                  • Figure 29: Gift-purchasing occasions, March 2019
                                                                • Winter holiday spending outpaces all other gifting occasions
                                                                  • Figure 30: Average amount spent per recipient per gifting occasion, March 2019
                                                                • Who, what and why is more important than how much
                                                                  • Women are more likely than men to buy gifts for most (not all) occasions
                                                                      • Figure 31: Gift purchasing occasions, by gender, March 2019
                                                                    • Marriage and parenthood lead to increases in gift purchasing
                                                                      • Figure 32: Gift purchasing occasions – Select occasions, by marital and parental status, March 2019
                                                                    • Younger consumers give gifts to say thanks
                                                                      • Figure 33: Gift-purchasing occasions – To say “Thank You,” by age, March 2019
                                                                  • Types of Gifts

                                                                    • Key takeaways
                                                                      • Gift cards, clothing, food and beverage are most popular with gift givers
                                                                          • Figure 34: Types of gifts given, March 2019
                                                                        • Fewer people buying gift cards, foodservice makes gains among card purchasers
                                                                          • Figure 35: Gift card purchasing, 2011-18
                                                                          • Figure 36: Types of gift cards purchased, 2011-18
                                                                        • Younger gift buyers tend toward tangible products
                                                                          • Figure 37: Types of gifts given – Tangible products, by generation, March 2019
                                                                        • Parents, more-affluent gift givers get creative with experiences
                                                                          • Figure 38: Types of gifts given – Experiences, by parental status and household income, March 2019
                                                                        • Younger women are more likely to give homemade gifts
                                                                          • Figure 39: Types of gifts given – Homemade gifts, by gender and age, March 2019
                                                                      • Gift Shopping Habits

                                                                        • Key takeaways
                                                                          • Online shopping is common among gift buyers
                                                                            • Figure 40: Dominant gift-shopping channel, by select demographics, March 2019
                                                                          • Gift buyers gravitate toward familiar retailers first
                                                                              • Figure 41: Gift-shopping habits, March 2019
                                                                            • Promote unique offerings to stand out with comparison gift shoppers
                                                                                • Figure 42: Comparison shopping behaviors, by generation and Hispanic origin, March 2019
                                                                              • Men look to validate their gift selections
                                                                                • Figure 43: Omnichannel gift-shopping habits, by gender, March 2019
                                                                              • What gift shoppers like and don’t like about shopping for gifts
                                                                              • Resources Used to Find the Right Gift

                                                                                • Key takeaways:
                                                                                  • Amazon is the top resource for gift shoppers
                                                                                      • Figure 44: Resources used to find the right gift, March 2019
                                                                                    • Younger adults more likely to use online resources
                                                                                      • Figure 45: Online resources used to find the right gift, by age, March 2019
                                                                                    • Store associates can be a competitive advantage – particularly with men
                                                                                      • Figure 46: In-store resources used to find the right gift, by gender and age, March 2019
                                                                                  • Gift Registries

                                                                                    • Key takeaways
                                                                                      • Half of all adults have shopped from a gift registry
                                                                                        • Figure 47: Gift registry usage, by key demographics, March 2019
                                                                                      • Not available in store? Not a problem for most registry shoppers
                                                                                        • Figure 48: Gift registry behaviors – Online and offline, by gender and age, March 2019
                                                                                      • Offering in-store experiences could generate more business from registry users
                                                                                        • Figure 49: Gift registry attitudes – Special hours and retailer use, by gender and age, March 2019
                                                                                      • Gift registries will continue to expand and evolve
                                                                                          • Figure 50: Future gift registry interest, by age, March 2019
                                                                                          • Figure 51: VEBO gift registry Facebook post, April 2019
                                                                                      • Receiving Gifts

                                                                                        • Key takeaways
                                                                                          • Make it easier for people to get inspiration for gifts they want to receive
                                                                                            • Figure 52: Attitudes and behaviors around receiving gifts, March 2019
                                                                                            • Figure 53: Customer message to Amazon on Twitter, April 2018
                                                                                          • Women and Millennials are more likely to re-gift
                                                                                            • Figure 54: Re-gifting behaviors, by gender and age, March 2019
                                                                                            • Figure 55: New York & Co. customer acquisition email, December 2018
                                                                                          • Encourage gift idea sharing on social media
                                                                                            • Figure 56: Social media for gifting, by gender and age and by Hispanic origin, March 2019
                                                                                          • It’s the thought that counts, recipients appreciate a personal touch
                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                  • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                        • Terms
                                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Gift card purchases in the past 12 months, 2011-18
                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Types of gift cards purchased in the last 12 months, 2011-18

                                                                                                        Gifting - US - June 2019

                                                                                                        US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)