Personalised gifts have been popular for years; Taopix has been meeting the demand for personalised gift software since 2007. As a prospective retailer, or someone who is looking to add personalised gifts to an existing business, you’re likely curious about how reliable the market is and what your return may be. We’re here to fact-file the market and debunk myths, to help you make an informed decision when dipping your toe into the personalised gift waters.
What is a personalised gift?
It seems simple, but the term is so broad that it can often be misunderstood. While the process of selecting an off-the-shelf gift for someone is a personalised process (you’re considering their likes, hobbies, style preferences etc.), it doesn’t count as a truly personalised gift. Photo gifts such as mugs, photobooks, cards, calendars and more which feature your own snaps are what is classed as a personalised gift. Items with customised text also fall into this category – any gift which has content you have written or selected to be placed on there meets the mark. Think water bottles with a youngster’s name printed on so that it’s not lost in school. A blanket for a furry friend which is adorned with their photos tells others – this is the dog’s blankie, not yours. A canvas on your kitchen wall with a full family photo is there as a daily reminder of who you love and the special times you’ve shared together.
How big is the personalised gift market?
If you’re interested in the personalised gift market, you’re probably most interested in the numbers. Market Research Future compile many reliable industry insights across the board, including their review of the personalised gift market, which shows a compound annual growth rate of 5.75%.
It’s easy to think that while the digital atmosphere is ever-growing, the desire for printed photos is becoming weaker with each Instagram ‘photo dump’ and each pop-up of a Facebook memory. Despite recent tech advancements, the demand for printed products is actually growing. The most engaged market isn’t who you would think, either.
It would be easy to consider the most common buyer of photo prints and personalised gifts to be the more ‘old school’ crowd (read: people over 50). They generally have more spendable cash, have a history with photo albums and physical prints, and would likely have ‘big moment’ photos – weddings, graduations to attend, new grandchildren potentially coming along, travel opportunities. These are all great, and common triggers for photo-product purchases. The age group of 18 to 34 is actually leading the market growth, thanks to over 50% having bought photo merchandise within the last year. The survey was conducted by Rise Above Research, where 47% of all respondents had purchased a photo merchandise product within the last 12 months, showing the younger respondents to be above-average on their photo spends.
Why you should offer personalisation
You may be wondering how the value really differs between a personalised and non-personalised gift. Sure, you can find incredible gifts sitting on the shelves within your very own high street. A ‘World’s best Mum’ mug is the easiest present to find around Christmas, Mother’s Day, and even Easter. You’ll probably see them hanging around throughout the duration of the calendar, but we know for sure that you could walk into most gift shops and find one of these ceramic articles on the cusp of a family focussed, gift-giving event. While Mum may appreciate her (particularly useful) award, she knows that this mug was designed with somebody elses mum already in mind. She doesn’t mind, but she does know. And you know. And she knows that you know. It’s a little awkward, really.
Imagine the joy on a mother’s face to unwrap, yes, another ‘World’s best Mum’ mug, and see that there’s a photo on there of her favourite person in the world. The number of in-jokes about how “this mug’s chipped” (with a finger pointing directly to your face in the photo), the laughing faux-certainty of how “that’ll put me off my brew” contrasting with the shy, yet genuine “it’s lovely, thank you” – all from a mug.
The preservation of memories within a gift is a sentimental idea, and one which proves to be successful and sought after year upon year. We’re not speaking for ourselves here – the numbers agree. With the growing market value and the ready uplift in spending, you’re joining the personalised print game at the right time. Not only that, shoppers are spending an additional 7% on the same products, just for the benefit of personalisation.
Does the market have scope for return custom?
It can be easy to shrug off personalised gifts as a one-time purchase, but you’d be mistaken. Consider photobooks – customers can create a book for each holiday, each year of their child’s life, a ‘year in our life’ book and more. So while you may be thinking people will only buy one photobook for themselves for their wedding pictures, you’re limiting the opportunities for more by ignoring the other occasions where a personalised photo album would be desired.
67% of personalised gift buyers plan to buy again next year, according to Rise Above Research’s survey. Along with purchasing a further item, there’s also the opportunity to upsell. Many would consider their first purchase as a ‘test’, checking the print quality, the binding and cover and to see how this matches their expectations. Once you’ve earned the trust of the customer by providing them with a high quality item, they’ll be more comfortable spending a little more and opting to add-ons or more luxurious items.
Expand your opportunities
Diving into the personalised gift and photobook market as a print or gift retailer is a fantastic opportunity to diversify your product range and appeal to a larger, higher value audience. The sale of personalised gifts need not be the main driver behind your business – there are plenty of others who run a successful business and have the option of personalisation as a further option. If you’ve got the ability to print these products, or even outsourcing the print, then it’s simply a matter of creating a multi-stream income and optimising the processes you have in place to make you and your business more money.
Many businesses who are starting to think about selling personalised gifts have questions. Our team are happy to have a no-obligation chat with you, with your best interests in mind. We can walk you through the process of adopting personalised gift capabilities, handle all the tech-side work and show you just how fruitful this pursuit could be for your business.
Contact Taopix today to discuss your queries and enthusiasms. Your dedicated Taopix representative will be with you every step of the way – you won’t be passed from pillar to post. Working with a familiar face who truly knows your business and needs can only be an advantage.