Lauren Goodsitt
Lauren is a Global Beauty & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, using research to help develop innovative product concepts, understanding the beauty landscape and to apply relevant industry trends.

As the holiday season quickly approaches, consumers are starting to think about their holiday shopping lists. Gift ideas range from tangible items to experiences, in the hopes of giving that special person the perfect gift.

Here, Global Beauty and Personal Care Analyst Lauren Goodsitt identifies three main shopping trends that are changing today’s holiday gifting landscape.

Create social registries

Social media is an aspirational tool that allows consumers to dream – two in five UK Millennial consumers get inspiration for clothing or fashion from social media compared to more than a quarter of consumers for skincare and makeup.

Developing social registries make for an ideal inspirational gift registry platform because of the convenience. Additionally, nearly two in five US consumers aged 18-34 drop hints about gifts that they want on social media, according to Mintel research on gifting. Utilizing social media as a predicative gifting method and tapping into instant social shopping abilities can further the ease of the gifting process and ensure that consumers are receiving desired gifts.

Evoke emotions of happiness by giving palpable gifts

Young consumers (aged 18-34) are more likely to give tangible gifts (ie clothing, food, beverages, flowers, jewelry) than their older counterparts. These types of gifts can often be enjoyed immediately by the receiver, while also bringing the giver joy when watching the reaction.

While gift cards remain a popular format for gifting, they do not elicit the same type of emotional response. As consumers look to maximize their personal joy, brands that find ways to make gifting fun and enjoyable will profit.

View gift-giving as the unique experience that it is

Gifting experiences can sometimes be seen as more meaningful than a tangible gift. However, a 2018 study from researchers at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that gift-giving in itself is a pleasurable experience for the giver.

Gift-giving provides consumers the unique experiences consumers are seeking. Gifting experiences such as tickets to events, or booking flights have been popular in the past, but adjusting the way we interpret  “experience” can shift the shopping process. Brands can start the conversation around the act and benefits of gift-giving through marketing efforts. This will help to differentiate their offerings from others this holiday season.

Balance trends with hero products

As many parts of the world look at price being the ultimate purchase factor, consumers are turning back to the reliability of gift sets this holiday season. Brands are altering traditional gift sets slightly to focus on hero products, thus ensuring that consumers receive tried and true products.