When it comes to giving gifts, most Indians play it safe, as revealed by a study carried out by Nielsen India recently. The survey found that nearly eight out of 10 Indians, which is 77 per cent of the respondents, chose clothes and sweets as the most preferred gifting items. 69 per cent selected chocolates, while 49 per cent of the respondents went for books. However, differences emerge across different agegroups in terms of gifting items, budgets and shopping channels.
While sweets, clothes and books are universally popular, they tend to be more popular with the mature group aged 45 years and above, while the younger crowd, from 15 years to 44 years prefer to give away technology gadgets such as mobile phones and MP3 players.
N S Muthukumaran, Director-Online Panel, Nielsen India said, “The way technology has entered our lives in the last 10 years has been amazing, and is deeply affecting young people in their twenties, who have grown up with it. To many people in India, it is cool to be seen with the latest model of phone or music system and giving one as a gift is in the same league, albeit a costly option for these young folks.”
Popular new-age gift ideas include travel accommodation for holidays, travel tickets and tickets to amusement parks. It was noteworthy that about 20 per cent would like to give wine as a gift.
Where people are buying their gifts
Despite relatively high Internet access among people surveyed, shops, which constitute 88 per cent of responses, are the most popular place to shop for gifts, followed by malls with 80 per cent. More than half of the respondents indicated that they preferred online shopping, which is more popular across both SEC A and B. Interestingly, online shopping is popular among people aged 45 years and above.
Muthukumaran added, “With banks and other financial institutions taking the lead in making sure online transactions are secure with adequate safety measures, more and more people are taking advantage of the ease of online shopping. Ever increasing work pressures, long commutes, traffic snarls, and parking problems are other reasons driving more people towards the convenient option of online shopping.”
Occasions for gifting
Birthdays and weddings are the key occasions when gifts are purchased. Purchasing gifts on Valentine’s Day is popular among those aged 15-34, whereas buying gifts for partners for wedding anniversaries is more popular among the 35-plus years segment. Gifting during Valentine’s Day seems to be catching up in smaller towns, with non-metros matching metros.
The festival of lights, Diwali, is by far the biggest reason for 84 per cent of people surveyed to buy gifts, followed by Raksha Bandhan with 57 per cent. 46 per cent of the respondents opted New Year as the occasion for gifting, while Dussehra / Gurga Puja, and Christmas got 45 per cent and 24 per cent of responses, respectively. 86 per cent of respondents buy birthday gifts for immediate family members and 68 per cent for friends. During birthdays, buying gifts for friends and colleagues is more prevalent in metros than non-metros. The younger agegroup is more into buying gifts for friends’ and colleagues’ birthdays, while the older agegroup, which is 35-plus, seem to limit birthday gifting to immediate family members.
The survey also covered what people bought for themselves or their households during festivals. Clothes and sweets (chocolates included) were the most popular purchases for the household with 80 per cent and 61 per cent, respectively.