This Generation Gives the Best Gifts, According to Research

When you reflect on some of the best gifts you’ve received recently — did you notice a pattern among the gift givers?

According to a new study by gifting platform Loop Commerce, there’s a solid chance that those shelling out your most memorable presents are members of the millennial generation.

The results of the survey — focused on gift-giving behaviors and conducted in November among a targeted sample — suggested that millennial consumers might be the most thoughtful generation when it comes to shopping for others.

Specifically, the researchers found that 42 percent of millennials purchased gifts just for fun, versus 26 percent of baby boomers and 36 percent of Generation X respondents. Millennials are also more concerned about giving the right gifts when compared with other generations, Loop Commerce found. More than half, or 52 percent, of millennial gift buyers worry that their gift won’t be liked — compared with the 38 percent of baby boomers and 46 percent of Gen X respondents who had similar concerns.

Nevertheless, 36 percent of millennials owned up to purchasing gifts at the last minute — something in line with widely held beliefs that some of the cohort’s defining characteristics are laziness and a sense of entitlement. Conversely, just 20 percent of baby boomers admitted to dragging their feet on gift giving.

Still, uniqueness of a gift (71 percent) is more important to millennial shoppers than nabbing an item on sale (67 percent). On the other hand, about 70 percent of both boomers and Gen X said sales are more influential in purchase decisions than uniqueness of a gift.

“Our usage data shows that when it comes to shopping for others, millennials are thoughtful, year-round gifters and are the most likely to buy for others outside of the standard gifting occasions,” said Roy Erez, CEO of Loop Commerce. “The data also shows that while post-holiday gifting can sometimes be an afterthought for retailers, there’s a golden opportunity for brands to accommodate millennials looking to shop for others all year round. By making it as easy as possible for an entire generation to send meaningful gifts online, retailers could capitalize on revenue they weren’t capturing before.”

The study, revealed during Shoptalk in Las Vegas on Monday, also found that young adults are less inclined to lean on gift cards — often considered an impersonal present — with only 33 percent of millennials indicating they are likely to resort to gift cards, compared with 36 percent of baby boomers and 39 percent for Gen X.

Millennials are typically categorized as the group born between 1981 and 1996, (ages 23 to 38 in 2019), according to the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, baby boomers are considered those born in 1946-1964 (55-73 years old) and Gen X has birth years between 1965 and 1980 (39-54 years old).

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