Is Free Shipping Really a Deal Breaker For People Doing Their Christmas Gifts Shopping

hands giving a boxed present gift - cordelias house of treasures

Free Gift Delivery Just In Time For Your Christmas Gifts Shopping

Many friends, customers, family members, businesses associates and more have said to me since we have started our new online gift shop that finding presents for people especially now that Christmas is here must be easy.  And yes, you would think so wouldn't you. But i still have the troubles of matching that perfect gift to the right person, making sure it shows i have put time and thought into their gifts. Agreed, i now know that what i am giving is from a good source, being British in design and even manufacture is helping out our local economy and businesses small and large.  So that's one tick.  But i still once again have to find that perfect offering.  


A change of tactic from gift shop owner, to  buyer


I sat with my partner (who happens to be the co director of Cordelia's House Of Treasures, small world) one evening and we decided to have a re think of our buying plan of attack for this years festive period.  We know that so many people are in this same situation multiple times of the year with birthdays, Christmas, Easter, weddings, anniversaries, graduation etc the list goes on as we have been in their shoes and add to the fact this is what we hear from our customers all the time, so we said let's look at it from the buyers point of view again.  What was our biggest bug bear when shopping, what did we struggle with, what couldn't we find and what were we inundated with when shopping, how could things have been easier without so called solutions that are just there to generate more revenue for said retailer?  We realised we had a lot of questions and very few answers so far.  So we did what any self respecting person would do in this situation - we asked people.  In fact the same people that where saying to me that it must be easy now, and most importantly our customers. We have a good understanding of the gift market i the UK with the data available and the data we have gathered so we could take that into account, but data doesn't show emotions and opinions.


What do we know about the gift industry statistics ? 


 Having looked at the data we have collected, we also decided to have a look at some of the statistics available online for the giftware industry.  The general consensus, as we already knew is that the industry is growing stronger year on year and is adapting the the evolving high street too.  One very interesting point that is shown in a below table is that the personalised gift industry is really changing.  The age groups most prolific in buying personalised and unique gifts has changed year on year to a younger age group and now is dominated by 16-24 year olds.


graph of retail eCommerce gift industry value - cordelias house of treasures 

Credit to Statista


 A YouGov survey that was carried out in the UK confirmed that the gifting industry alone is now worth over £1bn and still growing. And yes, that is the UK on its own.

In 2012, personalisation of gifts was most popular amongst the age group of 35 to 45 year olds, but now we see that there has been a shift in recent years to a much younger generation that are aged 25-34 and add to that it is so closely followed up an even younger demographic of 16-24.

graph of gift industry showing age groups that bought personalised gifts

Several other interesting key findings from the YouGov research are below:

  • More than 50% of adults had personalised a gift during 2017.
  • The average spend on a gift per person has now risen to an amazing total of £36.50
  • At £1bn+ in sales, the personalised gift market is now the same value as that for promotional products.

gift industry statistics market research - cordelias house of treasures


What did we find out?


Free shipping, all gifts/cards/wrapping in one place, ease of use, stock in the uk,  quick delivery times, unique and personalised gifts, customers service, costs, helping local commerce/businesses, 

People had a lot of amazing ideas and requests, and if i'm totally honest some rather strange and unrealistic ones.  But, when drilling down into the data the same few suggestions came up over and over again:

  • The single biggest gripe was paying shipping costs (or hidden shipping costs).  You don't want to spend your time picking all your presents and filling your cart for the price to zoom up as soon as you think you have finished and it adds on shipping.  We all hate that.  But it was an easy fix for us, we just offer free shipping, so we have.
  • People love the idea of supporting local businesses but just as important they want to know the stock is local and wont take 4 weeks to arrive if it does.  Time is precious and people are willing to pay a little extra to ensure that time isn't wasted and the quality is also there. 
  • An easy to use an intuitive online platform that allows them to quickly buy products without hassle and the worry an order error or worst still a scammy site that just takes their money.
  • Somewhere they can find amazing unique gifts but also couple that with beautiful gift wrapping and stylish greetings cards in one simple shopping experience.  Not having to go to 3 different retail stores or online shops to get the gift, wrapping paper or gift bag and then another just for the card.  That's three lots of shipping, three chances for it to go wrong, three different people having your payment details etc.
  • Realistic prices.  People said they are happy to pay extra for something special, but don't want to feel they can not give that perfect present because it's too expensive.  


What did we do with all of this information and advice to help our British gift fans?


Well, i would love to say to you we listened and acted on all the suggestions and gripes people had so know we offer personalised and unique gifts from local businesses on the same simple to use shop we offer beautiful gift wrapping and greetings cards,we couple that up with quick delivery times as our stock is in the UK and we give free shipping anyway and to top it off we offer great service and communication with ourselves, oh wait.....  We only had to give free shipping......  But that's not  the end of it, we are constantly striving to better ourselves and our services so please do get in touch with me and let me know how i can help.  We regularly help customers source products if we do not have them and if we cannot get them we show them who has them in stock.  This may come across as a bit cliche but i feel as local businesses we are all in the same boat so let's help each other and not fight each other.  If the customer is happy with our industry, if it is us that sold them that perfect gift or we showed them another British company that had that gift, for me it really doesn't matter.  If we help each other, the customer wins and our amazing local commerce thrives.  Just my 2 pence. 




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