Gifting sector declines as Brits treat themselves instead, data shows

Consumers have switched their focus from gifting loved ones to purchasing treats for themselves, new data reveals. The gifting sector is down by 34% this year, with purchases around key events like Valentine’s Day down by 13% year on year (YoY).

Meanwhile spending on ‘self categories’ is soaring. According to data from affiliate marketing platform, Awin, womenswear sales are up by 28% YoY; menswear by 27%; health and beauty by 19%; and video games by 838%. This show of self-care is especially evident in the erotic sector, with sales increasing by 1116% last year and over £291k spent with online direct-to-consumer erotic brands. Building on the astronomical growth of 2021, sales of erotic products have continued to rise this year, showing a 680% year-to-date increase.

Unsurprisingly, the growth in sales also coincides with an increase in the average spend per transaction. In 2020, the average order value (AOV) for erotic products was £44, increasing to £65 by the end of 2021. Since then, AOV has increased further with the average spend per transaction now (coincidentally) at £69.

Joelle Hillman, retail and travel client partner at Awin, commented, “Despite the ongoing cost of living crisis, we’re seeing an interesting trend in the rise of the self-purchase. This could be what’s referred to as ‘the lipstick effect’ in action – consumers impacted by rising inflation and living costs with less disposable income treating themselves to smaller luxuries to make them feel good on payday. The buying behaviour we’ve seen in the erotic sector is a prime example of consumers making room for self-love in difficult times.”