Gifting in India: Moving online, towards registries

Online shopping trends
Whether it is personalised products or the mundane flowers and chocolates, experiential pampering or innovative surprises, the world of gifting has undergone a metamorphosis in India over the years, courtesy the booming online space. Now, gift registries are poised to become the next big thing, says an industry expert.

Indians, says Nischint Sanghavi, co-founder of Wrapp’d – a one-of-its-kind online gift registry and curated shopping website – are moving away from gifting what they like to give people and are increasingly taking a step forward to present what the host desires. And this is where registries can play an important role.

Asked about the changes he sensed in the Indian market when it comes to gifting, Sanghavi said the “entire consumer market in India has gone through this transition of moving online during the last two years”.

“Even traditional companies, which were reluctant initially, have embraced this move. In the gifting space, this has happened with more casual gifts like flowers and chocolates moving online. A lot of gift card companies are also offering products online now,” Sanghavi told IANS.

The concept is already seeping in.

From having endless number of artefacts to culinary items, Ria Malhotra, who got married last year, was inundated with presents out of which only a few were of use to her.

She says using a gift registry could have been a blessing. For now, she is waiting for some of her friends to get married soon to pass on some of the gifts.

In another case, Shweta Goswami had to attend a wedding but had no time to buy a gift, courtesy her long office hours. The dotcom world came in handy!

The whole world of gifting is going under a transformation with several people opting for a virtual route to find and send gifts. There are cake, card and bouquet combos for birthdays or anniversaries, quirky or wacky products, customised items and well-thought gift boxes.

From fashion, beauty, lifestyle, décor, well-planned outdoor trips – you name them and you can spot them online. And it’s all a few clicks away!

Indians might still have time to get used to the concept where guests can pick up gifts from a pre-set list of items, it is a widely popular concept abroad especially for weddings.

So, what’s the next step in India?

“The next move for the gifting industry is to move away from cash gifts or gift cards which have a low emotional value to more emotionally valuable and desired gifts.

“The other major move is from giving what the guest likes to giving what the host desires; this is where registries will play the most important role. They will play a major role in helping removing the awkwardness connected to asking for gifts. This is where we aim to help the gift market grow to its full potential and grow with it,” he explained.

Wrapp’d, the online gift registry which was launched last month, brings forward a user friendly website — with an aim to help people in picking more effective gifts.

How does it work?

Wrapp’d, a fairly new concept in India, provides a one-stop platform which allows the user to create a gift registry online through a few steps or just shop from the specially curated items. The users can also share their personalised list — depending on what they want and need — with their friends and family to help them pick a gift.

The first step towards making the online gift registry a reality, as Sanghavi, a chartered accountant and a MBA from Boston University, shared, was a bundle of personal experiences.

He said: “The insight was that very often, even though people appreciate the thought behind a gift, they actually do not like the gift. Either they receive too many of the same gifts or the gifts are not as per their taste.

“We have ourselves faced this issue during all our important occasions. That’s when we decided to come up with a better way for gifting.”

Sugandha Rawal / IANS