Self-gifting and why it’s becoming more and more popularBilly Parker
If one were to do a survey of shoppers in a store during an average retail weekend, it’s surprising how many will be buying items solely for themselves. This does not just apply to products that they rely on to live, it stretches to luxury items too. The act of self-gifting is increasing among consumers. Millennials will spend 24% of their total budget on items for themselves and this trend seems certain to rise.
Shoppers have recognised that, with the advent of online retail, they can now select exactly what they want and buy it immediately. It is this sense of immediacy that has led to the popularity of self-gifting. The new generation of consumers remembers a time when they had to wait to get something they wanted. They would ask their parents for it and typically have to wait to be gifted it during a special holiday, such as their birthday or Christmas.
When you grow up and make your own income it becomes apparent that you do not have to wait any longer to receive the items you covet. You can your chosen item shipped to your home within days.
Self-gifting is viewed by consumers as a money-saving tactic. This is partly due to the fact that retailers have noticed the trend and are using sales to encourage it. Often the products found on sale are those you would typically buy for yourself. The most popular include TVs, gaming consoles, home goods and clothing. Discounts on these products give shoppers incentive to buy them.
Toys are the exception to this rule. These items are among the most popular with an abundance being sold every week. These are usually bought by family members to be gifted to children. This brings us to another reason self-gifting is the on the rise – the decline of the family unit. Those who have partners and children are far less likely to buy gifts for themselves.
One other factor to explain this trend is the decrease in cohabitation between consumers in this market. Millennials have already been seen to be prone to self-gifting when compared to older shoppers. They are also more likely to be single than older shoppers. Because of this, they have a greater amount of disposable income. With no partner or financial family commitments, they’re naturally going to spend that disposable income on themselves.
Self-gifters can be further classified into two groups – impulse buyers and patient buyers. The retail sector relies heavily on impulse buyers. They are the ones being targeted by the sales on self-gifting products. They bring in far more income than their patient counterparts. Patient buyers tend to know exactly what product they want. They keep an eye out and wait patiently until that product goes on sale. It is possible for a shopper to be in both these groups. Millennial shoppers know what they want and are aware enough to wait for it to go on sale. At the same time they may also be swayed by impactful sales adverting into making impulse purchases.