4 reasons experience gifts are better than things

4 reasons experience gifts are better than things

Need to be convinced to come over to the awesome gifting side? Then read this!
Brittney Deguara

When gift shopping, we often settle for the typical clutter-making bits and bobs that no one really needs in their life.

Wall decor, new shoes, home wares and kitchen appliances are some of the common things we gift for birthdays, at Christmas and various other special occasions throughout the year.

While the thought is always there and appreciated, sometimes the thought doesn't always make up for the fact that you now have three blenders in your cupboard or more decorative cushions than couch space.

If only there was a substitute gift idea for all of those special occasions...

There have been ample studies in recent years explaining the science behind consumer's shift in happiness when it comes to gift giving and receiving. There has been a dramatic change in purchasing for both millennials and older generations, with experiences now trumping things as a more desirable gift.

Here, we outline four reasons why experience gifts are better than things.

1.Experiences make memories, things make clutter

There's only so much joy you can get from a new phone. Yes, from the moment you unpack it you'll be able to enjoy learning all the new features, cram more pixels into your photos and downloading the latest apps. But not before long, it will just become another monotonous part of your life.

Instead, if you were to snap photos of a winery tour with your significant other, or a jet boat ride or animal encounter on your perfectly fine old phone, then you will be rewarded with lasting memories.

In a study conducted by Gift It Now, experiences were found to be preferred 68% of the time, with millennials the leading demographic in the study. The penchant of experiences to things indicates that trends are indeed changing when it comes to people's inclinations for gifts they'd rather receive and gifts they?d rather give.

When given the option of an island cruise or pair of the latest swimmers, an island cruise was chosen by 95% of participants, likewise with a dolphin encounter (94%) to a fluffy souvenir stuffed toy.

When the opportunity to make memories with an experience is compared with a common tangible good, the experience prevailed. This indicates that people - especially millennials - are interested in exploring, adventuring, experiencing and making memories as opposed to receiving gifts that will likely end up being stuffed away in the cupboard, soon to be forgotten.

2.Experiences are inclusive

What's better than visiting a winery? Visiting a winery with friends and family! The beauty of an experience gift is that it doesn't have to just be a gift for one person to enjoy; you can gift it to one or all of your friends and make it a memorable occasion that brought you all closer.

From the thousands of experiences available to gift online, almost all of them are experiences you can do with one or more friends. Experiences enjoyed with friends were preferred by 69% of millennials in The Harris Group's study (2016). These experiences with friends and family are cherished and thought more valuable than evenings spent at home.

From Gift It Now's study, 7 of the 10 experiences provided were ones that could be enjoyed with multiple friends and all seven of these topped the preferences for the study.

3.Experiences don't lose their value

Unlike tangible goods that lose value as soon as you open the box or accelerate down the driveway, experiences are rich in value. Even though the value received from an experience isn?t the type of wealth that can be easily evaluated, it still makes you rich in feeling.

An unknown author once said, "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer," and it couldn't be more applicable to an experience gift. You can make someone rich in experiences by gifting them an experience voucher to their next adventure as opposed to a new beach towel or action book.

4.Experiences make things better

The purpose of purchasing or gifting a tangible item is to see the enjoyment from the experience it provides. The focus here is on the experience part of the item. As the experience is the core reason and purpose of purchasing a tangible gift, why not skip the clutter and go straight for the experience?

From the Gift It Now consumer poll, the only things that were preferred over experiences were basic necessities and items that are used on a regular basis; sunglasses (51%), a tank of fuel (57%) and a new shirt (58%).

This interesting shift proved that when given the option of a necessary item or a luxurious experience ie. a tandem skydive, off-road rally car ride and golf day respectively, the basic item prevailed. This could well be due to the practicality of the item and demonstrate a shift away from their ability to satisfy a basic day-to-day need more so than their appreciation as a gift.

The shift towards experiences over physical goods as a gift has seen an increase in recent years, especially in the weeks and days surrounding special occasions such as Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day and Christmas.

So if you're ready to become a Gifting Genius, it might be time to join the rest of the world and start gifting experiences.

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