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If you were to compare the gifting sector for women with the variety of options available for men, not only would you find a wider range of engaged brands in the industry but you would also find a more varied selection of trends to pick from and retail sectors to shop within.
Much of the ‘gifts for her’ industry is evident on a year-round basis across the most popular retailers and retail sectors where women are shopping for themselves – taking the popularity of top brands and elevating their ranges and collections to become suitable gifts. What this means is more seasonally aesthetic packaging, upsold add-ons, and limited edition product lines, as well as a year-round range of vouchers, deals and offers through which to entice the buyer into the store in the first place. Of course, there are seasonal occasions and times of the year when this industry becomes more prominent and takes up more of the physical shop floor or ecommerce site, but for the most part it appears as though the ‘gifts for her’ retailer is a year-round industry which sees consistent success all year.
When it comes to the gifts for women industry, much of the year-round success comes purely from the range of occasions and celebrations which are spread across the year – namely Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthday occasions, and Mother’s Day, as well as any anniversaries and other celebrations which occur. While some of these share common dates all over the globe, there are others – for example Mother’s Day – which are celebrated on different dates in different countries and time zones around the world, leading to some consumer confusion but meaning that global retailers in particular can enjoy more than one key buying season or date for their occasion-specific products and gifts.
While buying for men is typically regarded as a challenging undertaking with men being notoriously difficult to buy for, the wider selection of gifting sectors for women mean that on the whole, finding a gift for a female which is in line with her lifestyle or which merely serves an aesthetic purpose is generally seen as a much easier task. To understand this, one only has to look at the typical family home – often furnished and decorated with the infamous ‘woman’s touch’ which elevates a space from house to home and proves that for the most part, women are the ones who become drawn towards aesthetic home pieces and decorative accessories. Not only does this explain why so much of the marketing activity around homeware retailers and brands is targeted at women, but it also highlights one very important aspect of the ‘gifts for her’ sector – the fact that if you are buying for a woman of any age, something pretty or attractive for the home is generally a fool-proof starting point to finding the perfect gift.
We have already looked at how many retailers access the gifting sector by taking their most popular brands and product ranges from a season and transforming them into gift-worthy products. Often this has nothing to do with the product itself, but instead rests almost entirely on the way that something is packaged and marketed for a particular gifting season or occasion. Some of the best examples of packaging solutions which elevate a product to something created for the gift industry include:
One very common example of how products can be altered to sit within the gifting industry is homeware decorations – namely candles which often adorn home surfaces, provide unique and targeted scents and aromas, and which are very reliant on trends and seasonal changes. Depending on which occasion you are buying a gift for, a candle is always a great gift for a girl or a woman, and can be chosen in line with the individuals personal style, their home décor, or the relevant season – for example a pale blue and citrus scented candle for the British spring-time mother’s day, a bright red candle which smells of roses for valentines day, and a warming cinnamon candle dressed in a red and green holder for Christmas.
Another thing which turns a retail collection or range from ordinary to gift-worthy is the way that it is worked into particular in-store and online deals, with a great example being department stores’ health and beauty sectors which often boast a plethora of different deals in the run up to Christmas in order to boost festive sales, such as ‘3 for 2’ on all perfume; immediately creating a sector of gifting items simply by including them within an exclusive ‘gift discount deal’. This is also evident across many fashion ranges and clothing stores, with the option of “adding gift wrap” providing that extra assurance that what is being purchased is designed to be given as a gift.
Of course, though the ‘gifts for her’ sector is very much a year-round industry, there are occasions and times in the year when specific sectors and retailers do start to really stand out as prime retail options for gift buying – and we don’t just mean high street and physical stores, with online marketplace sites becoming especially popular during gift season but because of the huge range of products and brands they play host to in one central location.
Let’s look at Mother’s Day as an example of a gift-specific occasion, with its heavy reliance on the marketing of flowers as the perfect gift – leading gift seekers through the door and across to the internet sites of the local florist. Flowers have always played a huge part in the ‘gifts for her’ industry, providing a safe gifting solution which is often environmentally friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and well-received by the recipient. Thus, as Mother’s Day approaches, targeted emails and adverts start to appear on social media and through mainstream media, with the vast selection of retailers vying for prime position in front of a captive audience across all advertising spaces with the highest footfall. Vouchers provide an excellent way for these retailers to entice buyers in, especially for ecommerce floral retailers like Interflora, Appleyard Flowers and Moonpig, while special collections and additional gifts in local florists help them to drive more customers into stores.
Another example of a seasonally-dependent retail sector is that which relates to Valentine’s Day, particularly in the ‘gifts for her’ industry where roses, chocolates and jewellery are by far the most purchased gifts for the romantic occasion. At this time of the year and in the run up to the day, gift shops become adorned with red roses and large balloons, walking a fine line between enticing buyers in and becoming borderline laughable with their over the top ranges and gifting solutions. While the latter may seem over the top, did you ever stop to consider how a large eye catching display is both memorable and clear in its intentions? During gifting season, it is these retailers who often draw the highest footfall by making their gift collections abundantly clear. Valentine’s Day is when florists once again come into their own, though visiting a florist on Valentine’s Day and again on Mother’s Day will likely provide a very different experience – the former filling the store with roses while the latter is more firmly based on spring bouquets. Chocolates are another popular gifting solution for females around Valentine’s Day, as is jewellery: driving shoppers into chocolatiers, department stores and jewellery stores as they seek out the perfect gift.
Of course, it’s not all as seasonally dependent as roses and chocolates. In fact, gift shopping for girls and women can generally be done across most retail sectors and industries during any time of the year – with the easiest shopping experiences being those which add gift options and gift wrapping to the purchase. This as a trend is hugely prevalent across the ecommerce gift industry, with marketplace sites like NotOnTheHighstreet and Etsy now giving buyers the choice of having products sent straight to the gift recipient, using a small tick box which ensures that no pricing is included within the postage of the gift. By closing the gap between the buyer and the recipient and offering a way for gifts to be received directly from the retailer, the buyer benefits from a more streamline shopping experience – something which is increasingly important in the modern and busy world.
Another important trend and one which has played a big part in determining the most popular and successful retailers in the gifting sector, is the rise in brands and retailers which are offering named day delivery – allowing customers to order a product and select exactly which day they would like it to be delivered on, providing a custom delivery service which ensures the recipient gets the delivery on the celebration day. For local buyers this may not be such an important trend, but for those buying and sending gifts from afar it can mean the difference between a gift arriving on the right day and the wrong day – and can really solidify a retailer or brands’ position as a trustworthy gifting retailer.
In ascertaining the top retailers in the ‘gifts for her’ industry, it is impossible to ignore the importance of season and the occasion itself in determining what the ideal gift is. However, there are some retailers which consistently deliver top level and versatile gifting solutions suitable for women of all ages, including:
Of course, flowers, chocolates and jewellery are all staples which sit at the top of the gifting list for any woman regardless of age and lifestyle. They are simple gift ideas which can slot into any female’s life – with little regard or thought around the lifestyle of the gift recipient as an individual. For those looking for gifts which are a little more personal, this is where your product list can branch down into any avenue – depending on the age of the recipient, their lifestyle and hobbies, what they do and don’t like in terms of appearance and aesthetics for the home, and what kind of clothes and accessories they wear.
Buying for young girls is easy, with many Christmas and birthday lists made up of the latest dolls, technology games and toys, and whatever else is on trend in their friendship group and at their school. As with all children, young girls are influenced by their peer groups as much as anything else, and so you can always expect the ‘gifts for her’ industry for younger recipients to shift and expand along with what is fashionable in that particular season.
Finding personalised and individual gifts for older females, from young adults right up to grandparents and beyond, is largely dependent on their unique style rather than what is fashionable for that season. Some of the top products on the ‘gifts for her’ list for young and older adults, and all of which can be personalised or tailored in their design and appearance in line with the individual you are buying for, include:
All of these products and more can be found both in the run up to gifting occasions and throughout most of the year – with the relevant season likely having the biggest impact on variations between different products. If you are looking to shop using vouchers and benefitting from deals, you will likely find that the top occasions come equipped with a variety of deals and discounts – you simply have to shop about to find them, or head to our ‘Gifts for her’ page.
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