Taking stock

Shops globally are beginning to open their doors and consumers have more choice over where they can shop. It is also the time of the year where we begin to start imaging the possibilities of Christmas.  Our research indicates that gift consideration peaks in the months of August and September, with 40% of parents considering gifts at this time.  As we move into a post lockdown era Christmas is predicted to be a little more ‘normal’ this year for many. But with the shopping landscape re-imaging itself, what does this mean for consumers purchasing behaviours?

We look at the latest global trends and market nuances for the kids gifting market, providing insights into the gifters themselves and what it is they will be looking for this year, to help ensure brands maintain relevance in an evolving landscape.

Gifting Grandparents  

It’s undeniable that parents play a dominant role in purchasing gifts for their children, but our latest study reveals that across 8 international markets, 60% of those who purchased gifts in the last 12 months purchased for a child that was not their own. In particular, grandparents play a vital role in many children’s lives, finding joy in purchasing gifts on a regular basis. As such, grandparents make up over a quarter (27%) of the purchases for kids globally in the last 12 months.

In Italy, we see grandparents playing the biggest role in gift purchasing with 43% of purchases for kids in the last 12 months being from this audience. Where we see grandparents playing less of a significant role is in markets such as Spain and the US, with these making up 16% of purchases in Spain and 21% in the US in the last 12 months.

But do grandparents have as much spend power as parents?

Globally, a third of gift givers spent on average 105 dollars or more on gifting in the last year. As part of this our research indicates that grandparents spend just as much on gifting as parents with over a third (37%) spending more than 140 dollars in the last year. In the UK and US we can see that grandparents have the highest spending power, with 37% of grandparents in the US and 32% in the UK spending more than 210 dollars/150 pounds.   In the UK therefore not only do grandparents make up a large proportion of the kids gifting market, but they are also big spenders!

In-store power over influence

Despite numerous lockdowns reducing the footfall to the high street and the convenience of online shopping, the in-store experience is still at the top of parents lists when it comes to gift inspiration. Over a third of gifters (35%) rely on in-store inspiration for gift ideas for children with this particularly high in Italy where 43% of gift givers say this is where they get their inspiration from. The reliance on more traditional methods is observed in markets such as Spain, with 34% reporting that they use catalogues for gift inspiration. Where we see digital playing more of a significant role is in markets such as the US with 29% of gifters reporting that they get their gift inspiration from social media site, Facebook. 

Whilst understanding the dominant sources of inspiration is key for brands reaching the gifting market, there is one source that cannot be ignored, the kids themselves! This research indicates that kids are just as important at providing parents with gift inspiration as in-store. and we know nine times our ten, kids get what they ask for!

Gifts that show love and entertain have highest appeal

Understanding what will encourage gifters to select one product over another and what they look for is core to product development and messaging for brands. Globally, we found the key drivers to purchase overall were to show love (39%), to entertain (34%) and to stimulate creativity (32%). There were some unique differences across markets with 32% within Germany considering humour to be the third most important factor when buying a gift and 30% of gifters in the US valuing gifts that served a more educational purpose.

Whilst parents also value the drivers above, there are critical motivators that determine whether a product will be purchased or not. Among parents, the core motivators for gift purchases were gifts that will entertain the child (36%), provide learning (27%) and to make them laugh (24%). This is somewhat unsurprising given the struggle parents have faced keeping children entertained during lockdown. However, this did vary across markets with some consumers valuing quality over purpose. For example, parents in the Netherlands valued a trusted brand (30%), and 37% of gifters within Italy and Belgium considered durability to also be key. We see a shift when we look at grandparents and what motivates them, with 28% globally saying that ‘creating memorable moments’ was an important factor.

No one size fits all approach

What we have seen through this research is that there are global trends for brands to be aware of when it comes to the gifting market. Parents are unsurprisingly at the epicentre of this world but grandparents not far behind yet motivated by more emotional needs. There are also undoubtedly market nuances both in terms of priority audiences and how to reach and engage them, with a one size fits all global approach unlikely to have greatest success.  As we navigate our way through the rest of the year, brands need to know that inspiring the gifting market sooner rather than later to keep top of mind for Christmas is key. In-store should be an important component of any market strategy despite the struggles the industry has faced, with it placed at the heart of gifting inspiration.

International kids gifting study

Quantitative research study conducted in Mar 2021 across 8 markets: UK (n=267), USA (n=281), Netherlands (n=287), France (n=345), Spain (n=374), Italy (n=342), Germany (n=276), Belgium (n=269). All participants had gifted to children within the last 12 months.

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