Unlocking Year-Round Gift-Giving: Insights for Retailers

Gift-giving goes beyond the holidays as shoppers are open to new ideas and new retailers 

Gifting is not a part of every retailer’s business, but it can be significant for those where it plays a role. It’s also an opportunity for shoppers to try out a new retailer to find something special for a friend or family member. But most importantly, beyond the revenue from gift buyers is the chance to turn these shoppers into long-term customers. 

As of 2021, the global gift industry was $65 billion, and the market is projected to reach more than $94 billion in 2031 with a CAGR of 3.74%.

Our survey

We conducted gifting research based on 1,059 online shoppers in January 2024. The results highlight the importance of gifting, dollars spent, retailers favored, and how online shoppers will approach 2024 gifting. 

Shoppers spend freely on gifts

A look at how much shoppers spend reveals that, on average, 44% of online shoppers spend $500 or more over a year. One in three spend less than $500. An additional 23% aren’t sure or don’t plan to spend anything on gifts. 

Gift-giving is either a passion or a responsibility 

For those who love and enjoy the process of gift-giving, four in ten spend significant time getting just the right item. On par with this group is the 42% who spend some time, but it varies based on the individual and the occasion. The remainder spend limited time, though they ultimately come through and make the purchase (11%), while 6% fail to spend much time or make the purchase.   

Birthdays make gifting a year-round opportunity

While Christmas receives the lion’s share of the attention for gift buying, birthdays make gift shopping a year-round opportunity for retailers and an excellent chance to capture new customers. Christmas sees almost universal purchasing at 87%. A close second is the eight in ten online shoppers who indicate they spend money on birthday presents. Others have varied interests, as some holidays only cater to distinct audiences. Mother’s Day (47%), Valentine’s Day (37%), and Father’s Day (35%) fall into this group, seeing spending among one in 3 online shoppers. 

Gift-giving is a big merchant feast

Retailers with more extensive assortments dominate the places where gift-giving most often takes place. Amazon’s dominance is apparent, with 85% purchasing gifts there. One in two shoppers also frequents Walmart. A group of stores, from Target to department stores, marketplaces, and even specialty retailers, has captured the attention of one in three shoppers. Each of these store types has a distinct personality, but what they share in common is that broad product assortments are part of their value proposition. This makes shoppers confident they will find what they want with one-stop shopping.

One in three gift-givers spend time looking for new gift ideas 

Of course, many will do what we call “rinse and repeat,” as almost half of those surveyed say they will buy for most of the same people as last year. And 28% will go as far as purchasing similar products. Despite these findings, it is exciting to see that 36% of shoppers are open to looking for new ideas and that twenty-four percent will consider new online stores. Cross-channel opportunities are of interest as 22% will visit brick-and-mortar stores as part of their gift buying, which means retailers have a fresh opportunity each year to capture gift-givers’ hearts. 

Gift cards make life easy for busy shoppers, with 24% intending to purchase them during the year. Tools can help shoppers simplify their gift-giving, and here, 27% intend to ask for shoppers’ wishlists. A smaller 14% will use online gift tools to guide them. 

Taking the guesswork out of gifting

  • Introduce new products each year so shoppers have something new for repeat gift recipients 
  • Organize products in gifting themes around the market segments you serve
  • Allow shoppers to search by a series of attributes from price to product type and more
  • Include gift services such as gift messaging and gift wrap as part of your offering
  • Alert gift-givers about product delivery so they have confidence in your company
  • Deliver on time or even early for the occasion to avoid shopper worries   

Let Bizrate Insights help you understand your customers

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