The gift-card industry in India has grown by leaps and bounds in the past years, with 10 million cards sold annually. The purchase of gift cards has risen exponentially, displaying a 41 per cent growth in 2016-17 over the previous fiscal. G-cards is a gro
For retailers, gift cards is a growing segment and a revenue generator
With the festive season on, gift cards are trendsetters in terms of their ease-of-use. The novelty lies in making them appear sensitive and caring enough so as to offer the receiver a wide range of presents to choose from. In more ways than one, the value of gift cards go a step beyond the essence of O Henry’s classic tale, The Gift of Magi, which underscores the immense value of gifts in spreading love, trust and compassion in the world we live in.
The Gift of the Magi story goes like this: Della Dillingham Young is a beautiful woman with brown, knee-length hair. She is poor and has only $1.87 in her household. Come Christmas, she has to gift something to her loving husband Jim. Della sells her hair and with the money she buys him an elegant chain for his pocket watch he so covets. All happy and excited, Della returns home with the precious gift and waits for her husband’s return from work. But alas! Jim had sold his pocket watch in order to buy an ornamental comb for his lovely wife’s long tresses! With the touching story, O Henry brought alive the poignancy of precious sacrifices. It reminds you of the Gift of the Magi, the three wise men who were first to see baby Jesus after his birth. The wise men brought gifts of gold, symbolizing the Son of Lord’s kingship on earth; frankincense, a symbol of the deity that Jesus was to become, myrrh and embalming oil, for Jesus died at the cross for the sake of mankind.
The practice of gifting is ingrained in our value system. Gifts have always been important in festivals, anniversaries, weddings and on other special occasions. Interpersonal relationships are a centrifugal force in India, be it in our daily lives or in business. Gifts, within that realm, are an extension of this whole process. Management consultant Technopak estimates that the total size of Indian corporate & personal gifting market put together is about Rs. 250,000 crore today, more than five times the Delhi State Budget proposal for the ongoing fiscal.
No wonder that the gift-card industry in India has grown by leaps and bounds in the past years, with 10 million cards sold annually. The purchase of gift cards has risen exponentially, displaying a 41 per cent growth in 2016-17 over the previous fiscal. The industry is estimated to have the potential to touch the $40-billion mark.
These days, the gifting culture goes beyond showing happy intentions to your loved ones. People are far more sensitive and rational about their choice of gifts. The sender of the gift takes into consideration several things before making a decision – the personality, likes and dislikes of the receiver, need of the gift in one’s life, etc. Many a time, these aspects are tough to analyze. In this situation, gift cards come to the rescue.
In the e-commerce and start-up industry, gifting through ‘g-cards’ is now a growing segment. It generates impressive sales and is a regular source of revenue generation for the portal and new businesses. Popular online shopping destinations and single-brand retailers keep coming up with ‘Gift Card Programs’ for their consumer base – be it for promotional purposes, bonus or top-up incentives. The cards can be redeemed instantly and they are sometimes time-bound too to catch the pleasant element of surprise and wonderment.
The total size of Indian corporate & personal gifting market put together is about Rs. 250,000 crore today, more than five times the Delhi State Budget proposal for the ongoing fiscal.
The e-commerce industry has actually further eased the process of gifting with digitization. With e-gift cards, one sometimes feels that the emergence of ‘Digital India’ was much before the official campaign was ushered by the government. India’s new-found interest in digital payments has encouraged people to prefer e-cards and gift cards over the traditional practice of money-in-envelopes.
Now, it does not matter if gift cards have physical or virtual forms. For, they offer choices, often online to offline and vice-versa, in terms of giving the ‘gifted’ the right and will to exercise the right to choose. With the advent of digitization, geographical divides are no longer a barrier in the gifting industry today. E-gift cards come to the rescue of consumers who wish to ship away their love and care to their loved ones via gift cards.
What has also happened is that with the spread of consumer culture, we are seeing a rise in the willingness, potential, ability, and the affinity to pay for innovative products. This has further created a distinct space for long distance gifting. Along with the rapid adaptation of the virtual world, online gifting has become a reality. At a time when there’s the stress and busy-ness to consider, what better way to enhance the online gifting experience further by adding the matter of choice with it?
With the advent of digitization, geographical divides are no longer a barrier in the gifting industry today. E-gift cards come to the rescue of consumers who wish to ship away their love and care to their loved ones via gift cards.
The writer is CEO, Homepunch.com, an Indian online home appliances megastore, offering a wide variety of small appliances.