The big gifting carnival returns - Brands eyeing sales upwards of 25-30%

As India moves towards the crescendo of Diwali, which brings down the curtains on the major part of India’s annual festive season, the opportunities for gifting also gain in prominence. Diwali has traditionally been a festival for getting together with friends and families, gifting and feasting.

Over the years, gifting during Diwali has undergone change – from the traditional sweets and dry fruits, the scope of gifts has grown by leaps and bounds. During the pandemic period, we saw people taking to e-commerce platforms to send gifts to their loved ones as everyone remained confined by the Covid restrictions. In the year 2022, the scenario has changed as all restrictions have been lifted and people are meeting up in-person.

In the post-pandemic world, corporate gifting has also assumed much significance as corporates go all out to show their appreciation for their work force.

Moreover, this is also the peak wedding season in the country, which is also an important occasion for the gifting industry.

Gifts that have a meaning are seeing more traction this year, as people are preferring healthcare and personal care products more. Electronic products, food hampers, jewellery, apparel, household electronics, kitchenware, home decor – all are seeing high preference by consumers.

Though gifting happens throughout the year – be it birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, welcoming a newborn, etc., certain festivals have become huge occasions for gifting – Valentine’s Day, Raksha Bandhan, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Teachers’ Day, Onam, Dussehra/ Durga Puja, Diwali and Christmas.

Brand campaigns:

Brands have been celebrating the festive spirit with a plethora of campaigns. Here’s a look at some of them:



The buzz around gifting

Speaking to Adgully, Ajoy Chawla, CEO, Jewellery Division, Titan Company Ltd, commented, “With this being the first post-pandemic 'normal' Diwali, people are expecting to celebrate a "no holds barred" festival this year. The sentiment is up, the mood is infectious not just for Jewellery but all categories. As expected, the predominant sentiment is for gold during the festive period.”

He added, “We are seeing a lot of traction for all our new collections with record self through rates, particularly Chozha for Tamil Nadu and Alekhya for the rest of the country, confirming the woman's desire for new designs that she wants to adorn, as she gets ready to socialise once again this Diwali. We also see continued interest in light weights, layering and colour that validates our belief that she values adornment over keeping jewellery in the locker, a secular trend now for the last 2 years.”

Tanishq is anticipating and targeting strong growth, despite the high base of a record-breaking festive season last year, and the company is not sparing any efforts in new launches, marketing and promotions. Tanishq stores and teams have prepared well to welcome large numbers of customers this weekend, to serve them with a smile. “We also expect this festive season will see significant wedding purchases for the season to follow Diwali and have stocked up stores with adequate and appropriate Rivaah merchandise to serve all communities,” Chawla said.

Rishabh Jalan, CEO & Co-Founder, Last Journey, added here, “Love and empathy are the greatest gifts for anyone and this year, Last Journey brings both of these emotions wrapped within an initiative, wherein a tree is planted in the memory of a deceased person. Keeping in mind, the eternal emotions of love and longing, through this initiative, Last Journey aims to personify the everlasting memories of a person in the form of a plant. Last Journey has also launched a special ‘Pooja Samagri Box’, which is a hyper-personalised box of sacred religious itineraries. The items in the box are selected by the customer and are delivered to their doorstep within hours. Last Journey has also come up with an extensive range of memorabilia for gifting dedicated to our furry, four legged friends who are now in a better place.”

For Wellness Forever, the gifting options are numerous – it has come up with a curated gifting range, ‘Gift of Wellness’, which is being promoted across all stores, app, and website. The company has come up with a premium gifting catalogue, and is using in-store visual merchandising & product displays, along with having its store staff engage customers with information on the gifting range, besides having a dedicated team for gifting solutions and orders.

Saibal Banerjee, Vice President - Merchandising & Supply Chain, Wellness Forever, said, “We have a team with experience in gifting from various retail formats developing and managing our gifting solutions. This team efficiently services bulk orders & requests.  Premium gift wrapping solutions include wicker baskets, premium ribbons, confetti and premium bows. Corporates, associations and individuals who send out gifts to a wide network have shown tremendous interest in our solutions. Numerous customisations are possible with the wide assortment at our stores.”

Banerjee further said, “We are looking at over 12X growth in gifting revenue this year to contribute more than 6% to the sales during October. The Gift of Wellness is a dedicated sub-brand for gifting

dedicated communication across our channels – in-store brand communication (standees, posters, visual merchandising elements, product displays, in-store TV & Tabs displays). We are also promoting this on radio channels as part of our Wellness Mahotsav campaign (Radio Mirchi, Red FM, Big FM and Radio Indigo – across Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad).”

Speaking about Ferns N Petals’ strategy for the festive season, the gifting giant’s CEO – E-commerce India, Manish Saini, said, “Currently, we are expecting a double digit growth rate with our online-offline model. With innovation in gifting and a more focused approach towards quality and customer experience, the market looks massive for this festive season and we are aggressively looking to grow in our premium floral and gifting category. Cakes and flowers remain our top selling categories and we foresee an exponential growth of 40%. Also, in the corporate gifting segment, we are expecting to touch 60% growth over last year along with a spike in number of orders up to 2-3 times higher over year 2020.”

Ferns N Petals has rolled out a new digital brand film on the occasion of Diwali, celebrating human relationships and how gifts can play a pivotal role to rekindle old friendship and other relationships that we might have missed connection of in our busy lives. Called #DiwaliRishtonWali, this year’s campaign puts old friends, renewing forgotten ties and appreciation at the forefront; recognising that the real sparkle of Diwali is connecting with one another – virtually or in person.

Divya Batra, Marketing Head, Haldiram's Snacks, added here, “We, at Haldiram’s, are enhancing the celebrations in a variety of ways. For many years, Haldiram's has been associated with Diwali and is regarded as a legacy in terms of giving for any occasion. Its heritage and modern Diwali hampers will undoubtedly appeal to current clients who like returning to their roots and traditions over the holidays. Also, with our new contemporary hampers, we are adding new customers who are looking for something new and different every year. In terms of revenue, we are expecting growth over last year.”

Haldiram's most recent video campaign, "Is Baar Diwali pe Diwali Manate hai”, aims at bringing back in-person celebrations of the holiday of lights with the trading of sweets and memories. Haldiram's is providing a wide range of delectable and opulent gifting options during this festive season by introducing collections like Exotic Baskets, specially-curated Gift Hampers, Traditional & Premium Sweets & Nuts Platters, and interesting gift packs like Chatpati Baatein, Kabhi Khatta Kabhi Meetha, and many more.

“There is also a focus on choosing smaller and more home-grown vendors for your gifting needs, as it plays on the personalisation aspect,” observed Nupoor Pradhan, Head - People Operations, SoCheers. In addition, gifting has also become a lot more thoughtful, moving away from the generic and traditional tokens. “Considering that we’re all back to our workplaces, celebrating the festivals again with our friends and colleagues after two years, thoughtful gifts are the perfect way to commemorate that. Thoughtfulness is also seen in the usefulness of the products, even leaning towards sustainable and eco-friendly options,” she added.

There has been a strong increase in people opting to gift shopping coupons or gift vouchers to various e-commerce portals. The likes of Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart, etc., have customised festive vouchers just for these occasions, leaning into the whole festive spirit. It also extends to online vouchers for services like spa, grocery market place’s vouchers, e-nursery, etc. “Additionally, we have seen a rise in quite a few platforms like Snackible, Smoor, etc., which provide options for curated gifting and focus on healthy lifestyle, too, along with the festive vibes,” informed Pradhan.

While highlighting the revived sentiment of positivity amongst consumers this year, Sonal Hankare, Head of Marketing and Communications, Ikonic Professional, said that this would definitely reflect in buying and gifting patterns as well.

Adding further, she noted, “There is going to be a healthy rise in numbers. Our predictions point to a revenue growth of at least 25% owing to the festive season. We have launched a Diwali sale that has been gaining massive traction. Customers can not only take advantage of the deep discounts, but also enjoy quick delivery due to our tie ups with leading logistics partners. The idea was to combine splendid offers with speedy delivery to provide a great shopping experience this Diwali.”

Mansi Vyas, Co-founder, Azafran, too, highlighted the positive impact of the consumers’ excitement for Diwali season this year, and said that this is definitely resulting in increased buying patterns. “As per our projections, sales are conservatively expected to fetch an upward swing of about 25-30% this year from the various gifting related orders across India.

Recently, Azafran concluded a massive online and offline sale that received great traction from saw consumers, claimed Vyas, adding, “Our e-commerce platform and our flagship store at Ahmedabad saw great footfalls during this sale.”

Rajiv Merchant, President - Domestic Retail, Layers, observed that this Diwali, people are preferring to invite people to their homes instead of going out. This makes articles like bedsheets and home decor the best possible investment. “All in all, the revenue expectations this Diwali season are great! We have launched a new campaign ‘Ghar Sajao, Utsav Manao’ for the Utsav gifting collection of bedsheets and towels from Layers. We have also been doing print campaigns to gain mass awareness in the industry,” Merchant added.

This year, The Baker's Dozen is using Kalamkari-printed packaging and has also introduced curated Diwali special gift hampers to attract more sales from individual customers as well as bulk orders. Sneh Jain, Co-founder and Managing Director, The Baker's Dozen, said, “We have listed all the hampers on various online portals, including our own website, Swiggy, Zomato, etc. For the first time, we have introduced corporate hampers for B2B clients. We are expecting to sell approximately Rs 50 lakh worth of Diwali hamper gifts this year. We are running social media contests with reputed influencers to promote our Diwali hampers to gain traction over social media that will ultimately lead to attracting more customers and sales.”

Prachi Bali, National Head - Client Partnerships & Business Head North, FoxyMoron (Zoo Media), noted, “Gifting has made a comeback in the last two years. Because we couldn’t necessarily be with each other physically on special occasions, a lot more people have been opting for gifting options.” The biggest difference this year, according to Bali, is the sheer number of options that consumers have – right from quirky socks, healthy snacking options or eco-friendly hampers made by smaller D2C companies to the larger brands releasing special collaborations or festive packs. “From a growth point of view, personalised gifting has definitely become a go-to option this year – be it corporate gifting or bachelorette favours. Different kinds of ‘experiences’ have also become popular. From pottery to sushi making classes – everything is now a phone call away,” she concluded.

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