STUDY: 39% of US Consumers Plan to Gift this Valentine’s Day, One of the Year’s Largest Gifting Holidays

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eGifter’s 2015 Trends in Digital Gifting Study reveals consumer gifting plans for 2015, demonstrates opportunities for retailers investing in digital gifting capabilities year-round.

Our study not only reveals several other major opportunities for gifting throughout the year, but also specific opportunities to increase gifting sales

Two in five American consumers are planning to purchase a gift this Valentine’s Day, making the holiday one of the most popular gifting days of 2015.

The findings, released today by eGifter as a part of its 2014 Trends in Digital Gifting Study, reveal that while the holiday season is the most popular gift-giving time for American consumers, there are several other popular gift-giving occasions throughout the year that offer opportunities for retailers. With nearly half of shoppers (48%) saying they most often shop for gifts online or via mobile devices, retailers have an extended call to go digital this year.

“Our study not only reveals several other major opportunities for gifting throughout the year, but also specific opportunities to increase gifting sales both in frequency and spend by going digital,” said Tyler Roye, CEO and founder of eGifter. “Consumers are looking for the flexibility and personalization to get the gift right the first time. Retailers making this easier for multiple gift-giving occasions throughout the year will be more likely to see high ROI from gifting.”

Plans for Valentine’s Day gifting differ based on age and location

Consumers living in major cities are most likely to purchase gifts on Valentine’s Day, compared to those living in more rural areas (30%). Of the top 10 major cities, those most popular for gifting on Valentine’s Day include:

  •     Atlanta (47%)
  •     Washington D.C. (47%)
  •     San Francisco (42%)
  •     Boston (42%)
  •     Houston (42%)
  •     Seattle (41%)

Millennials aged 18-25 are also more likely to spend on Valentine’s Day gifts (45%) than the average consumer. Men (38%) and women (40%) are about the same in terms of their plans to spend this Valentine’s Day.

Social, digital and group gifting to drive sales in 2015

Group gifting – the act of giving a gift as a part of a group – is also on the rise, with majority of consumers (55%) planning to participate in a group gift in the next year, up from 48% in the past year.

eGifter’s study demonstrated the rise of social and “just because” gifts, as well as the potential for these two trends to work together for higher-volume sales. Social gifting may also make consumers more likely to purchase gifts for those they weren’t originally planning to gift.

Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) consumers report social media reminders, such as Facebook birthday notifications, have played a role in their decision to give a gift in the past year. Of those, half (52%) report that notifications influenced a decision to gift someone they weren’t originally planning to. But there is still much room for growth – while 64% of consumers have purchased “just because” gifts in the past year, only 10% are currently driven by social reminders.

Consumer views on gift cards are also changing. While gift cards have historically been known to be more like cash than a personalized present, the majority of consumers now say that’s not the case (63%). In fact, of the gifts consumers plan to give this year, gift cards are the most popular (61%). Consumers are also interested in other ways to personalize gift cards – two in five consumers (43%) say if offered, they would use eGift card features, such as video messages or product suggestions, to further personalize gift cards.

Other findings indicate digital gift cards will continue to gain steam:

  •     53% of consumers have gone to spend a plastic gift card in-store, only to realize they’d left it at home
  •     40% of consumers would scan plastic gift cards into a mobile wallet
  •     39% of consumers say they feel a gift card would feel more personalized if the giver included a link to an item in store they thought the receiver would like

Other top projected gifting occasions for 2015

Beyond Christmas and Hanukah, other top reasons consumers plan to gift this year include:

  •     Birthdays of close family – 86%
  •     Mother’s Day – 52%
  •     Birthdays of friends – 45%
  •     Father’s Day – 37%
  •     Weddings – 33%

“While retailers have a massive opportunity to drive additional sales of ‘just because’ gifts through social media and other digital channels, our study indicates a major miss, with only a limited percentage currently capitalizing on this trend,” added Roye. “As social purchasing continues to become a larger part of the e-commerce process, retailers have a unique opportunity to stand out on social platforms and help consumers personalize gifts for all occasions in 2015 and beyond.”

To view the full findings of the study, visit http://corporate.egifter.com/trends-in-digital-gifting-2014-study.

Methodology

eGifter conducted an online survey of 1,200 U.S. consumers to explore their gifting behavior, including their intended budgets for different gifting occasions and recipients, as well as the factors that influence their purchases.

About eGifter

eGifter revolutionizes the act of gift giving with a social and mobile gifting platform designed to create a fun experience for consumers, while helping retailers unlock the potential of digital gifting. eGifter is based in New York and was founded in 2011 by a group of proven tech entrepreneurs. To learn more about eGifter and their social and mobile group gifting platform, visit http://www.eGifter.com/Retailers/. Try it out at http://www.eGifter.com, or download the mobile app from iTunes or Google Play.

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