Living far away from my family home – 6,003 miles to be exact – has meant that my parents sometimes take advantage of other world travellers visiting the UK to bring me a small, beautifully wrapped gift. You see, for my mother, the wrapping is as important as the gift. Over the years, this sentiment has rubbed off on me too.
I am definitely one of the consumers contributing to the high growth of online gift retailing. However, until recently, this involved a lot of forward planning to make sure I receive the gift I’ve ordered in time to add a personalised touch when wrapping it. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I recently opened a package to find a beautiful gift box with a collage of pictures from my recent family holiday printed on it. Imagine my delight when I learned that my mother was able to opt for this personalised gift box when she ordered the contents from an online retailer!
So, it probably comes as no surprise that I was one of the first in line to attend a recent presentation on the fast growing trend of ‘gifting’. The speaker compared the future of gifting to the development of photo books years ago, looking at how quickly its popularity has grown, with more and more consumers heading online to order these mementos of a particular occasion to share with the friends and family. The reasons for this are simple: It’s an emotional product. And, digital storefronts that allow print on demand have opened the door for consumers to easily upload and order their high quality photo books. The speaker had expectations that personalised gifting will be the next big trend.
And I agree with him. It is no secret that digital print on packaging is set to grow significantly – recent developments in the technology have radically expanded the opportunities to meet a far greater range of printing needs. Personally, it is the future of gifting that’s got me really excited. My gift wrap planning has already shifted: instead of browsing through wrapping paper aisles I am now browsing through digital photo albums to collate those special memories, and I always opt for the personalised wrapping – or gifting – option when it’s available.
So, if the predictions about gifting are right – and I’m pretty sure they are – appreciating and taking the same delight in the wrapping as the gift itself, will soon move from the exception to becoming the norm.