2023 Holiday Gifting Survey Reveals What Consumers Truly Want

Just like friends and family, your employees, clients and customers value holiday gifts. In fact, 80% consider a present from their employer to be meaningful, according to PPAI’s 2023 Holiday Gifting Survey.

The online survey captured insights from a nationally representative sample of more than 500 U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 74. The data collected from the survey digs deep into what types of holiday gifts consumers prefer, the importance of personalization and how these presents can influence brand perception.

Favorite Holiday Gift Categories

  • Apparel and fashion accessories = 53.7%
  • Food and beverages = 49.9%
  • Wellness and self-care products = 44.2%
  • Tech gadgets = 41.4%
  • Home décor (including holiday ornaments) = 40.4%

Despite consumers’ fondness for physical gifts, only a little more than half (53.5%) expect to receive a company-logoed holiday present from their employer. Meanwhile, 58% anticipate receiving a gift card from the company they work for.

Gift cards are a missed opportunity when you could instead build a gift program with thoughtfully selected gifts so that recipients look forward to them each year – and keep them for years to come. Holiday gifting done right will make recipients feel valued, help build relationships and cultivate loyalty to your brand.

Personalize For Higher Perceived Value

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to break the bank. Nearly half (46.7%) of consumers say the cost of a gift doesn’t affect their satisfaction, and 36% say they’re more likely to appreciate practical gifts rather than luxurious ones, according to the survey.

Instead of worrying about going over budget for these tokens of appreciation, focus on tailoring holiday gifts to your recipients’ interests and preferences. After all, more than three-quarters (77%) of consumers say it’s important that holiday gifts reflect their individual preferences.

Personalization makes a big impact, too. As many as 39% of consumers prefer personalized gifts, and more than half (51%) said they “highly appreciate” a personalized message with their gift. And 65% of consumers say packaging and presentation is also important. Custom packaging elevates the overall experience and the recipient’s perception of value, plus it gives your business more space for messaging.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing generic holiday gifts simply because it’s tradition. Most consumers (85%) say the thoughtfulness of a holiday gift influences their perception of a brand, and 70.7% say the gift’s perceived value or uniqueness increases their brand loyalty.

When receiving a thoughtful holiday gift from a company they’ve done business with, half of consumers are not only more likely to continue doing business with that company, but also recommend the company to others. Meanwhile, 41.6% say they’ll leave a positive review, 27.4% will follow the company on social media, 20% will visit the company’s website, and 17.7% will go so far as to subscribe to its e-newsletter.

With emotions running high during the holiday season, you have a golden opportunity to leave a positive, lasting impression on your employees, customers and peers. By choosing a thoughtful, personalized gift that the recipient will love, your brand will become intertwined in cherished memories like tinsel on a Christmas tree.