The Science Behind Giving Great Online Gifts

March 21, 2021 12:06 PM

Gift giving has been a human activity since time immemorial. Cave drawings, biblical stories, and Shakespearean writings are among the many historical records providing proof of this. The advent of the internet and subsequent growth of e-commerce has brought about the concept of online gifts.

However, there has always been a science behind giving gifts and that has been passed down to the modern practice of surprising loved ones with gifts bought online. For starters, research finds that it makes people happy to give gifts. It is also documented that gift giving strengthens the bond between people in society, especially when the item is something that was wanted or needed by the recipient.

The abundance of choices, especially when it comes to online gifts, has not made it easier to pick suitable items. This phenomenon, studies show, has caused many to choose gifts that are more neutral in nature, such as flowers or beverages. Others may decide to give the gift of money, gift certificates, company stocks or other monetary based items. Some people may be glad to receive these as gifts, even considering them to be thoughtful. But research indicates such gifts may take away from the sentimental value and emotional bond that comes with giving something like a beautiful necklace or item of clothing in their favorite color.

Also, there are some people who are well off and appear to already have everything they want. These people are often the hardest to find online gifts for. At the very worst, gift givers may decide not to offer a gift at all, fearing they may choose something the recipient may not like.

So, what’s the secret behind giving great online gifts? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. It’s not about the price

While it is often thought expensive online gifts will be better appreciated, studies found that price does not necessarily determine level of appreciation by recipients.

2. Uniqueness is not always important

Putting too much emphasis on finding a unique gift can result in getting something that turns out to be less than useful to the recipient. It is best to focus on shared interests or common things the person actually likes.

3. Buy with vision

One way to ensure you are getting something your loved one will find useful is to think long-term. According to research, recipients actually care about the future value of gifts they receive. Examples of gifts that carry long-term value include a music streaming subscription or getting a personalized song from Bring My Song To Life.

4. Ask for ideas

Yes, you may want to surprise your friend or loved one, but if you are not sure what online gift to get them, it is a good idea to simply ask the intended recipient or someone close to them. You can still keep the surprise element – if it’s their birthday, for instance, you can ask them months in advance. Do it in a nonchalant way so they don’t know you are planning to get them a gift.

Today, people give gifts for a variety of reasons. The types of gifts also vary considerably, with an almost countless number of possible gift choices. But you can still choose great online gifts by being thoughtful of the receiver’s needs, starting with the tips above.

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