With the growing level of individualization and increasing number of choices, the probability that you’ll match the preferences of the gift recipient is gradually getting lower. Personal taste is quite unpredictable and difficult to define, so finding the perfect gift is like hitting the bull’s-eye – doesn’t happen very often.
In 2014, Karen Pine, Professor of Psychology conducted the research in collaboration with the international brand Debenhams, which aimed at finding the magic formula for buying a perfect Christmas present. According to Professor Pine, the perfect gift is a total of listening, observation, effort and empathy. It has also been underlined that one of the key factors that often prevent us from buying an ideal item is personal desire, which makes us purchase something on the basis of our selection criteria rather than the taste of the recipient. Unfortunately, we often lack the factors of the perfect formula – sometimes observing our close friends or family may be both daunting and difficult, while trying to identify their needs through listening is also quite risky – what if they got what they needed before Christmas?
Sure, some people simply resign from buying Christmas gifts at all due to the fact that Christmas fever promotes pointless consumerism and makes us spend more on the commodities no one needs. To some, refraining from buying any presents at all is also quite convenient – visiting a commercial centre in the pre-Christmas period may prove to be both frustrating (you’re not likely to find what you want as there’s tons of people everywhere) and time-consuming (the lines can be truly immense). So why bother at all?
It’s not worth it
People are gradually turning away from the traditional consumption model which requires going to the store, picking an appropriate gift for our beloved person, paying for it and packing it. Why? All this effort goes to waste in seconds if it turns out that your father has already read the book you bought him and your girlfriend actually hates violet jumpers. Sure, you can blame it on yourself and your lack of social sensitivity and try again on the next occasion, but you could also fail miserably over and over again. There are several types of gifts that are always tricky. When you buy a piece of clothing for someone, you need to take into account a huge amount of factors – size, colour, fabric, fit, brand and many more. Choosing a piece of furniture for someone is even more difficult. Not mentioning a piece of jewellery...
Better than cash
Of course, you can give some cash as a gift and say “treat yourself with something nice” but many people would consider it rather tactless. Also, very often the recipient simply includes that money in the household budget and spends it on an everyday basis. Is there any solution at all? What if you could narrow down some of the choice possibilities but at the same time let that person pick what he/she likes? The answer is simple: gift card. It allows you to sacrifice the exact sum of money you want without the need to actually purchase a certain product, but at the same time you can nudge the person you’re giving it to in the right direction. Gift card economy proves as a good idea both for business owners, as it drives the new traffic to their store, and for the consumers as it’s more convenient and perceived to be way better than giving cash. According to the research conducted in 2010 by Grant Thornton, over a half of respondents claimed they would like to receive a gift card or a gift certificate for Christmas. Thus the gift card trend is spreading rapidly and gift cards are being offered by the constantly growing number of brands – from small retailers to global, international companies.
Take a step further
You may want, however, to go an extra mile. Personalization in the Post-Fordist era seems to be far more than just a whim as for many customers it becomes the crucial aspect which influences the buying process in a truly profound way. So why not buy a gift card that doesn’t only allow its recipient to pick what he/she wants from the specific store, but also lets him/her customize it the way he/she wants? The Polish furniture brand Tylko, just before the pre-Christmas fever offers the customers a simple gift idea. Thanks to the Tylko Gift Card you can give someone the unique opportunity to collaborate with world-class designers and create a piece of furniture that will fit his/her needs perfectly. Why not give it a try?