UK personalised gift market to hit £1bn

Personalised gifts are becoming increasingly popular. Image: Depositphotos and Sonality
Personalised gifts are becoming increasingly popular. Image: Depositphotos and Sonality

The UK personalised gift market is expected to reach £1bn over the next 12 months, according to the findings of a new study from Roland DG.

The research, which was conducted by Censuswide, polled more than 5,000 shoppers in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany and France between 18 and 23 November 2020.

Its findings from the 1,000 UK consumers surveyed found that UK shoppers are set to spend over £750m on personalised gifts over this year’s festive period, with buyers of personalised gifts expected to spend more than £40 each on unique gifts for their loved ones.

According to the data, the average UK shopper is prepared to spend an extra 7% on gifts that have an element of personalisation, such as adding a name, personal message or image, with popular personalised gifts including books, clothing and babywear, and calendars.

The main driving forces behind purchases is how shoppers consider personalised gifts to be more thoughtful (chosen by 21% of respondents), and the fact that they are unique and can’t be bought straight off-the-shelf (20%). 

Online retailers including Notonthehighstreet and Etsy were found to be the most popular places to buy personalised gifts (chosen by 24% of respondents) while high street businesses with in-store personalisation offers was selected by 8% of respondents.

The study also found that younger shoppers are more willing to spend more on personalised gifts than their older counterparts, with 18-34 year olds on average willing to spend an extra £30 compared to shoppers over 55 over the next 12 months.

Roland DG operates PersBiz, an online webshop created for printers and signmakers that enables their customers to upload their own designs and personalise them.

EMEA marketing director Stephen Davis said it is “easy and inexpensive” for retailers to add personalisation options and that “there are products for every budget to tap into this burgeoning market”.

He added: “These might be turbulent times, but the British public does not intend to let the pandemic interfere with their appetite for personalised gifts.

“Our desire to treat each other in difficult times may well be a factor in the huge projected spend over the festive period. But make no mistake: the market for gift personalisation is vast, and only set to grow as it becomes easier and faster to source gifts with that personal touch.

“It represents a lucrative source of revenue for manufacturers and retailers.”

Aside from consumer gifting, personalisation has also proved increasingly popular elsewhere. Deloitte’s Consumer Review report said personalisation is of huge benefit to businesses as well as consumers, particularly to maintain customer loyalty.

Gary Peeling, chief executive of the newly-formed Precision Proco Group, said that personalisation is also a way for companies to attract new clients, particularly as the coronavirus pandemic has made it increasingly difficult to make appointments to see potential clients, and with face-to-face meetings rare.

The group’s online print business Where The Trade Buys allows users to add their brand or logo to a number of different products, creating a bespoke, personalised item.

Peeling said the firm has noticed a surge of interest in companies taking advantage of this ability during this festive season.

“We built Where The Trade Buys so that customers could have easy access to product personalisation in a really simple to use format,” he said.

“And over the last few months this has become more important than ever. For companies, being able to create their own branded products is a vital way to connect with clients.”

He added sending out branded items to customers or staff who may have been working virtually for most of the year “is an easy-to-use solution with potentially huge benefits”.

The business has launched a range of personalised gift ideas for Christmas this year, for both consumers and businesses.

These include a two-metre-long Christmas cracker, which can be personalised and filled with customers’ own choice of gifts, and ‘sit-ees’, a life size cut-out of a friend or family member which allows them to be a guest at Christmas despite any restrictions.

The business also offers personalised items including wrapping paper and photobooks.