Akshay Saini

CEO & CoFounder, tring

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The New Normal, Virtual Presents Are The Future Of Gifting

Technology has sufficiently advanced to open new virtual gifting options and create an array of personalisation features, to cater to almost every situation that one might think of.

The New Normal, Virtual Presents Are The Future Of Gifting
The New Normal, Virtual Presents Are The Future Of Gifting

It is said that actions usually speak louder than words. And often, what we can’t express with just words, we say with gifts, to make it easier to bridge this gap. The tradition of giving gifts to the people we love, goes way back in time. This expression of love carries meaning and value, that transcends what we give or why we give. Gifting has proven to be a great conduit to explore new relationships, reinforce existing bonds, promote the growth of businesses as well as fostering a stronger sense of belonging with one another. Which is why exchanging gifts during festivals and special occasions is an activity that everyone looks forward to.

Finding New Reasons To Celebrate Everyday

The worldwide lockdown and countries instituting quarantine measures across the world, certainly changed what we considered ‘normal’ practices in a world before the pandemic. The ‘new normal’ has people masking up, staying home, practicing social distancing, working from home and so much more, both in ways big and small. But in this gloomy atmosphere, people have still managed to celebrate and find their own little rays of sunshine amidst the dark clouds. Finding new reasons to be thankful to the people in their lives, whom they value and love and showering their affection on them with the help of gifting.

Offline To Online

In an increasingly connected world, the transition from traditional shopping and gifting to online gifting hasn’t upset many apple carts. There is room for everyone, and in a situation where physical outlets of many traditional stores can’t be open for business, online channels have proved to be a lifesaver for many companies and their employees. While both offline and online have their own pros and cons, there is no denying the convenience factor offered by online options. Online gifting has grown leaps and bounds and changed the entire paradigm of the gifting industry. E-commerce opens up the gateway to a wider variety of gifting ideas, and with more people now interacting through mobile devices, a lot of purchases are also happening through smartphones.

Moving Beyond Traditional Gifting

Traditionally gifts have usually included physical/tangible presents. But with time, gifting too has evolved to involve more intangible presents – like those that are more experiential, emotional and memorable. Experiential gifting as the name suggests, involves the gifting of an experience – like a scuba diving course, or a dinner at a 5-Star Hotel or even as simple as a birthday surprise through a video call with long lost friends. Yes, some of these involve physical items, but the focus is more on the experience, than on the items which facilitate this. It is a larger ecosystem coming together – product, environment, occasion that makes these more relevant and memorable. But these involve curating and personalizing the gift options, and that is not a simple task, for creating a truly unique gifting experience.

Creating Moments To Cherish Forever

Nowadays, gifts are given more often than ever, no matter the occasion. Moving beyond just birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and weddings, etc. There are a whole number of other occasions like Valentines’ Day, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, and pretty much any day, because why not! And on occasions like these, personalisation of the gifting experience needs imagination, creativity, and thoughtfulness to ensure memorable moments that make for lasting memories.

Technology At The Heart of Personalisation

Technology has sufficiently advanced to open new virtual gifting options and create an array of personalisation features, to cater to almost every situation that one might think of. Customization is king in the unique gifting business, after all, everyone of us is unique and what makes a good gift truly great - is the level of personalisation. So, while mass produced gifts are still valuable in their own ways, the confluence of data, technology and e-commerce is truly making the recipient feel special because of the extra attention and care.

Technology At The Heart Of Delivering Delight

Technology has certainly made the logistics and delivery processes more seamless and efficient across industries including the gifting industry. And when we move away from physical gifts and experiences, digital or virtual gifting speeds this up tremendously and can be instant or pre-scheduled to the exact second, with a guarantee that the gift will be received at that specified moment. The levels and details of personalization, down to the granularity and coupled with the convenience and ease of use, has definitely seen more people adopting virtual gifting as well.

From Customers to Corporate Gifting

It’s not just the dramatic rise in virtual gifting in India. The corporate world is also capitalizing on the same. Teams have been performing under pressure and stress like never before due to the pandemic. A thoughtful gesture from employers appreciating their team's support in these times goes a long way to boosting morale among the employees and knitting the team tighter together. Rewards and Recognition (R&R) too has moved beyond tangible gifts like certificates and trophies and are instead helping create positive and lasting memories for the employees, through experiential gifting.

The Emergence of Celebrity Engagement Platforms

With the confluence of all the above factors, and stemming from people’s deep fascination for celebrities, celebrity engagement platforms emerged. Social Media and networking platforms work great to connect fans to their preferred celebrities in a manner not possible before. But these networking platforms have a limitation, as celebrities cannot reach out to every follower they have, or even the simple but sad fact that celebrities cannot humanly read and respond to every single fan message that they receive online. To address this need-gap, celebrity engagement platforms like tring - India’s Largest Celebrity Engagement platform arose as a gifting option for the millennial generation and it has been widely accepted by every other generation as well. After all the happiness of getting access to celebrities isn’t just limited to a particular age-group and getting a video message from a really big cinestar with a magnetic persona, introducing himself as, “Hi Prem Naam hai mera! Prem Chopra! And I want to wish a very happy birthday ” is going to make anyone feel extremely special and treasure that memorable gift, forever.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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