12% OFF storewide at My 1st Years
Never miss a Personalised Gifts discount code!
Get exclusive offers straight to your inbox
Personalised Gifts Voucher Codes
The gifting industry is one dominated by trends and seasonal influences, with personalisation and personalised gifts owning a growing section of this industry; responsible for creating unique and innovative gifting solutions which serve the growing demands of consumers around the world.
The rise in personalisation can be attributed largely to the growing trend for gifts which are innovative and which stand out, with varying degrees of personalisation available depending on the retailer, the product, the brand, and the occasion which the gift is being purchased for – as well as whether the gift is being purchased in store or online; a decision which opens the buyer up to varying discounts and deals depending on what they are buying and when.
When you look at and assess the personalised gifting sector as a whole, it becomes possible to pick out different trends and influences – however the main driving force for personalised gifts is the overriding ideology around finding the perfect gift for any given recipient, in line with their lifestyle and their personality.
Products which sit in the personalised gifting industry
Offering personalised gifts doesn’t just mean allowing the buyer to input a specific name or occasion on a gift card or a necklace charm. Personalisation can also mean creating products which uniquely target specific end users and customers, or creating products within varying selectors which allow the overall finish to be tailored according to specific preference. Under this extended definition, many handcrafted brands and products are actually serving the personalised gifts marketplace without even realising it – by sitting in the loosely personalised product camp of baby gift blankets which are available in different colours, necklaces which can be tailored to utilise and showcase specific birthstones, and pieces of wall art which are designed around different star signs, countries or favourite movies.
It is this very definition which highlights the scale of the personalised gift industry, with its plethora of options available across largescale department stores as well as small ecommerce businesses and marketplaces.
While these loosely personalised gift products make up a large majority of the marketplace, a good example of a heavily personalised product is the creation of tailored chocolate selection boxes – an experiential gift purchase offered in the festive period by select high end department stores in city centres across the UK. By partnering with a different chocolate brand every year, the stores allow buyers to pick their own box, fill it with their favourite chocolate selection from the offering, and personalise the box further by adding the gift recipient’s name.
Compare this example with the birthstone jewellery and star sign wall art, and you can start to build an idea and image of an industry which is both expansive and hugely successful – allowing retailers and brands to elevate their product lines in order to cater for exactly what the consumer wants.
Some popular examples of gifts which can be personalised in all manner of different ways include:
- Mugs and other crockery
- Soft furnishings like cushions and blankets
- T-shirts and other items of clothing
- Greetings cards and wrapping paper / gift bags
- Hampers and foodie gifts
- Bottles of wine and other alcohols
- Wall art and prints
- Photo frames
- Ornaments and candles
- Phone cases and other technology accessories
- Balloons and other party and occasional decorations
- Maps which hone or zoom in on specific personalised areas of importance
The rise of the personalised gift industry
Have you ever walked into a store or browsed through an ecommerce shop, only to find yourself face to face with a unique gift idea which has all but got your friend or family member’s name printed all over it? Personalised gifts are designed to entice us in and give us that FOMO (fear of missing out) feeling that if we don’t buy the product there and then, we may never see it again. The media and other platforms have us believe that gifting is a huge part of various occasions and celebrations throughout the year – so much so that we have been trained to look out for gifts and buy them all year-round when we see them.
Likewise, targeted advertising takes facts about you that you share with the internet through cookies and online forms, and allows it to be used by Google advertising tools in order to create adverts which quite literally speak directly to you – whether through the use of your name printed onto a mug, or your hometown linked to a piece of art. Just like with a gifting purchase, it is the shameless personalisation of these pieces directly advertised to us which shocks us into taking notice.
Another factor responsible for the growing success of the personalised gift industry is the rise in corporate branded products and accessories, not only used in office spaces by colleagues but also handed out at networking events, sent out to valuable clients, and left on show across various office and client facing spaces to drive home the presence of the brand name and identity. The personalised gift industry lends itself perfectly to corporate gifting, with a series of retailers now existing solely to work with mass corporate orders – making everything from branded pens to branded biscuits, and logo covered notepads and drinks bottles. Of course, with social responsibility on the rise and with brands and companies across all sectors putting an increased focus on the importance of being seen as environmentally friendly, more and more of these branded and personalised products are being selected from a range of sustainable templates – giving eco brands like Eco Marketing and Fluid Branding a boost with their products and sales.
And then we have the style of personalisation which is not unique to you as a buyer or to your gift recipient as an individual, but is instead personalised to a specific occasion or celebration: for example buying gifts photo frames and home decorating ornaments with “Mr & Mrs” plastered all over them to celebrate as a wedding gift. This, again, is defined as personalisation because it is creating a gift designed for a certain type of recipient – however, it is not so uniquely personal that the retailer or seller has to do the hard work of adjusting each piece for every individual buyer. This is the kind of personalised gift which helps to drive sales all year round, with particular prominence around Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas. Another similar example of removed personalisation is the use of tailormade plaques which can be stuck or attached to otherwise ordinary gifting products – and pieces of jewellery and accessories which can be engraved with personalisation, leaning on retailers like Timpson’s which offer an engraving service to add the personal touch to an existing product or gift purchase.
Trends in the personalised gift industry
We have already mentioned how the importance of social responsibility and the environment is playing its part in defining the corporate gifting and branded products sector, but how does that same influence and inspiration affect the private gifting sector? One of the major trends which is making waves across the gifting and occasions sector as a whole is the rise in consumers being encouraged – and choosing – to shop small, and shop through local suppliers rather than buying from big brands and global retailers. This has a lot to do with environmental impact and climate change, but is also driven by the rise in prominence of social campaigns and drives to support small businesses – for example the ‘Just a Card’ campaign, and the work of ecommerce marketplace sites Etsy and NotOnTheHighstreet. A quick search for personalised gifting options on one of these sites immediately throws up hundreds if not thousands of different results, with more and more small businesses and independent sellers looking for gaps in the market which they can fill with their own creations – noting the trends across social media and serving to create gifts which fit within those trends.
One great example is the rise in the popularity and mainstream following of festivals – including not only music festivals but food and drinks festivals, country festivals and other lifestyle sector events. All of these types of events attract a certain type of guest or individual – with each of those individuals looking for the same staple elements to pull the weekend together. With small brands picking up on these trends and turning them into fun and unique gifting solutions, buyers are able to present their friend and family with personalised wine glasses, tent decorations and wellington boots suitable for their adventures – with the charm of additional personalisation on top of the product itself simply adding a little extra boost to the overall gift.
Another leading trend which is playing its part in boosting the personalised gifts industry lies not in the product itself but in the way that the product is marketed, created and delivered. The fact is, consumers are becoming increasingly impatient – wanting everything to be done at the touch of a button and delivered within a week. When it comes to personalised products, particularly those ordered through independent sellers and crafters, buyers are typically looking at a lead time of a couple of weeks – waiting for the seller to understand and unpick the personalisation, come back with questions, make the product and send it. With reviews and testimonials playing such a big part in the reliability of different brands and the way that they stand out to their target buyer, a slow delivery service is no longer something that consumers are willing to stand for and so it seems that an overriding trend in the sector is the demand for a streamlined service, fast delivery and a high quality product – quite a lot to ask for.
This is where service is crucial and communication is key – with the rise of marketplace communication apps and contact details giving the consumer that all important link with the seller, and enabling them to be informed of every stage of the production, postage and delivery. Of course, largescale retailers have entire teams dedicated to this kind of contact and customer service giving them an inevitable edge, however with the rise of shopping locally so prominent in the modern market, it seems as though the increase in contact between small businesses and customers may just be enough to drive sales upwards further.
Tailor-made products are in consistent demand, and as such the number of retailers seeking ways to serve that market demand is always growing. Of course, this does lead to inevitable challenges, especially for small businesses who sometimes see their ideas ripped off by anyone from other small business players through to largescale retailers. The sanctity of a unique idea is becoming more and more coveted and impossible to find – with most new ideas now being formed from variations on existing concepts. However, that doesn’t mean that products can’t be made innovative and exciting.
Top retailers in the personalised gifts industry
As we have explored throughout this article, the personalised gifts industry is one which is served by a range of different retailers and retail sectors – including corporate and branded gifting suppliers, small businesses and independent craft sellers, high street department stores and retailers, and ecommerce gift stores.
The level of personalisation available also varies across different retailers and different products, with many retailers offering personalisation without even realising it – simply by offering buyers a choice of colour, design or finish. If it can be tailored according to individual requirements, then it belongs in the personalisation sector. What makes a personalised gift retailer stand out, however, is how they deliver the personalisation to the buyer and how it is presented in the overall product – with ecommerce stores in particular needing to channel focus into how they present the various options, and how they communicate the various choices to the buyer.
Some of the top ecommerce retailers offering personalised gifts include:
- Personalised Gift Shop
- Getting Personal
- Uncommon Goods
Some of the top high street retailers which offer personalised gifts, whether as permanent in store fixtures or as seasonal pop ups, include:
- Selfridges – offering seasonal personalised chocolate boxes, hampers, etc
- Hallmark – cards and balloons and generic gifts
- Snappy Snaps – photo gifts which can be made in store
- Fortnum & Mason – offering seasonal personalised hampers
- Timpson’s – specialising in personalised plaques and engravings
- Disney – allowing customers to personalise a variety of products in store and across their theme parks and retail footprints
If you find yourself looking for the perfect personalised gift to add a little something extra to the next celebration or occasion, head to our Personalised Gifts page to find out the latest deals and offers available across both the largescale retailers and small business marketplace sites.