We all know someone who had a birthday during the first lockdown. It was a novelty – you celebrated with a virtual party, toasted them over video call, picked out a present online, and paid for it using an easy to use payment app. You might have thought these pandemic celebration adaptations were confined to that first surreal lockdown, but now it’s clear that Covid restrictions in one form or another are here for longer and will continue to have an effect on the way we give gifts.
Perhaps the most noticeable retail trend is the move to online purchases. Before Covid, most retail sales were made in person and it was an enjoyable ritual to visit your favourite high street store to pick out a special card and gift for a friend or family member. The closure of all but essential shops during lockdown put a damper on this tradition and instead people opted for online purchases or gift cards that could be delivered virtually. Over the first lockdown, data from the Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA) and GlobalData showed that people were choosing gift cards over physical gifts because they were more convenient and easier to purchase.
We also saw the emergence of ‘Sunny day gifting’ – giving people presents that they can use when restrictions have eased. These presents can be vouchers for meals, travel, or experiences. Not only do they provide the recipient with a little something to look forward to, but they also help out some of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic including hospitality, travel, and health and beauty.
With the holiday gift giving season right around the corner, here are a few tips to help you negotiate gift-giving during Covid restrictions. Just because you’re buying something online doesn’t mean it has to impersonal or generic. Remember to send a written card to go along with any online or virtual gifts you buy. In this digital age there is nothing more thrilling than getting a handwritten letter in the post.
People are having to spend more time in their house, so why not purchase something to brighten up their home environment? Framed photographs are a perfect option when we can’t see our loved ones face-to-face. Houseplants also can help brighten up someone’s home and stave off the winter blues. Also, remember to take a little extra time to seek out websites for local small businesses. Many of these shops offer unique and handmade items that make a perfect gift.
With uncertainty swirling around the job market, you may be one of many consumers who want to watch their spending this year. So, keep your eyes peeled for holiday sales. Some retailers will be extending their Black Friday sales because lockdowns have curtailed the normal shopping season.
Another way to simplify your holiday season is to use Ordo. Ordo is the perfect easy to use payment app for customers and small businesses alike. Whether you’re a business selling a service or a gift purchaser looking to split the cost of a present with friends, Ordo can make receiving payments simple, fast, and secure. All you need is the email or mobile number of the person you’re requesting payment from and you can send a smart request at anytime from anywhere. To make it even easier, the person you’re requesting payment from doesn’t need to download an app because they’ll be sent a secure link that allows them to pay you instantly and safely from their computer or mobile device. Try it today and you’ll receive 20 smart requests for free!