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All wrapped up: making packaging a gift for customers

Despite the stereotype that men are bad at wrapping presents, a study by Duo UK shows men are just as likely as women to appreciate a professionally gift wrapped present - and are willing to pay more to achieve the desired effect.

Family-owned Duo, which counts a number of retailers with a high proportion of gifted purchases among its clients including Photobox, Getting Personal and Mamas & Papas, carried out the research to gain insight into consumer attitudes to gift and luxury packaging, particularly in the context of stretched household budgets.

Duo's research revealed 61% of men and 63% of women felt that receiving a professionally gift wrapped present made the item 'extra special'.  Among 18-24 year olds this figure rose to 72%.  Consumers also associated a number of positive halo effects with gift wrapped purchases including:

  • An increased propensity to repeat order (35%)
  • An improved perception of value for money (25%)
  • Improved brand image (25%)
  • More likely to recommend to a brand to a friend (20%)
  • A belief that a brand invests more in customer service (20%).

When it came to the drawbacks of packaging, 8% of consumers said they would potentially consider the brand un-environmentally friendly and 14% said there would be more packaging to dispose of.

Managing director of Duo, which this year celebrates 25 years in the packaging business, David Brimelow commented: "These figures show that overall gift wrapping and luxury packaging have a strong, positive impact. This type of packaging not only positively affects a customer's perception of a particular item, but also positively influences customer behaviour patterns, which in turn leads to higher levels of profitability. 

"Factors such as repeat ordering and increased word of mouth recommendations are just two customer behaviour traits that are essential for retailers. They also indicate that high quality packaging has a long-term impact on consumers and profoundly alters a customer's perception of a brand.

"It would be naïve not to address the potentially negative environmental associations packaging may have and brands, particularly those with eco-conscious consumers, would be wise to take this into account. We work with many brands to help them address this issue; both by increasing recycled content of packaging and by ensuring packaging is recyclable and therefore easier to dispose of. "

When it came to who consumers would be most likely to purchase gift wrapping for, men and women showed marked differences. Women were most likely to purchase gift wrapping for their mum (31%), while just over half of men (51%) said they'd be most likely to buy gift wrapping for their partner. By contrast only a quarter (25%) of women would pay for a gift to be wrapped for their partner.

Men were also shown to be willing to pay more for packaging than women - almost 40% of men said they would spend over £2 on gift wrapping, compared to only 33% of women.  At the upper end of the scale, almost 10% of men would spend more than £4, compared to only 6% of women. Like men, younger consumers were also likely to pay more, with 13% of 18-24 year olds indicating they would spend over £4 for gift wrapping.

David commented: "These figures are equally applicable to online and high street retailers and shows that for certain brands packaging can be a real 'pull' factor for customers.  In particular, retailers that sell products which younger men are likely to buy as gifts for their wives or partners would be well advised to give serious consideration to their gift wrap offering. Just one example of a company we have helped to develop this type of service is gift retailer Getting Personal, which now has a full range of branded bags, boxes, tissue and tape in order to offer to customers."

John Smith, Founder of Getting Personal commented: "To us upping the quality of our packaging was all about delighting our customers, but by working with Duo we realised there were significant longer term benefits too, both in improving our brand image and influencing consumer behaviour.

"Although, as a gift specific retailer, we choose not to charge for gift wrapping, it's certainly a revenue stream that more generalist retailers might want explore. The feedback from our customers shows just how much they appreciate an upmarket look when it comes to giving goods to friends and loved ones, so there's certainly a real potential to offer this as an added service for customers who want it."  

Published: 21/04/2013

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