monica - giftingIn a session called 5 Surprising Gifting Trends to Prepare You for Holiday 2013 at Fashion Digital New York, Monika Kochhar, co-founder of Smartgift, delivered her top findings based on extensive research on gift giving.

Lesson one: Upsell the gift giver. You may have seen offers to gift givers in places like online carts and magazine subscriptions that look like “buy one get one for a friend.”  This is a prime opportunity for retailers to upsell a purchase. After all, who doesn’t purchase something for themselves when holiday shopping?

Lesson two: Give them the gift they want, even if that means changing the item you purchased before it ships. In the study conducted by SmartGift, they learned that the gift receiver would rather know about the gift buy ahead of the time it shipped, rather than receiving the wrong gift.

Lesson three: The value of a gift is in its scarcity and social proof. Everyone wants a gift that is scarce and unique. In some cases, this isn’t always true (See iPhone or Apple products) but specialized products are just more personal and more thoughtful when received.

Lesson four: “A gift without wrapping is only an item” said Monika Kochhar. Not to mention, “personalization is key” in gift giving. By adding a nametag, adding thought when purchasing and adding a personal note, you are successfully “wrapping” the gift.

Lesson five: Re-gifters are more common than you think. In the gift-giving survey, 58% of participants said it was okay to re-gift “sometimes” whereas 79% believed it was OK to re-gift during the holiday season.

Oddly enough, the third Thursday of December is when 40% of all holiday party gifts are re-gifted – typically the night for most company holiday parties. And in the decade of mobile, 58% used their mobile phones while shopping while a high 63% spend more after receiving a recommendation for a gift purchase.