• Aniket Malvankar

Merry Gifting Christmas !!

Happy new year everybody, Welcome 2019!!!

Couple of weeks ago we had a big Christmas celebration with my wife's family and as always there were too many gifts that got passed around. The amount of gifts my kids received is a constant reminder of the commercialization of Christmas in United States.

The other thing which I noticed was all the gifts being passed around were physical objects, we even printed out the tickets for a play we were gifting.

Physical Gifts > Digital Gifts

This year it is anticipated that Americans are going to spend close to 500 billion on gifts and goodies. The digital gift cards are a 15 billion dollar industry (3 % of total gifts), which is increasing at more than 100 % growth year after year. I know from experience that gift cards are frowned upon as lazy gifts in our family. We are a family that rather get the fifth Swiss army knife or the hundredth baseball cap which we would never use rather than gift card which is practical. The numbers suggest our family is not unique in preferring physical gifts, but there are definite trends of digital gifts gaining momentum.

Although all of us are online most of the time, it's still hard to figure out a good online gift for someone. All my family and friends use the regular platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc that I am aware of, but all these platform are Free!!!

The business model of "consumer is the product" is their internal motto.

The freemium SaaS platforms also do not make it obvious for gift giving. Rather than Google and Dropbox constantly reminding me I am going to run out of space if I upload two more pics of my kid being silly, they should send out gift suggestions on my behalf. ( google seems to be tracking everything anyway.) There needs to better business models around digital products so the consumer gets a choice to pay for privacy rather than being constantly sold. At the same time we need marketing innovation to spread the unique value proposition of digital gifts/experiences across family/friends so they can influence the holiday gift market.

As I put away the ninth leather wallet I can only hope the next one would be Digital, because what is Christmas without Ugly sweaters, excessive eating and crazy gifts.

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