Dec 31, 2020|

JD’s Data: Gifting Tendencies Vary by Ages


by Ella Kidron and Hui Zhang

According to a new report released by JD on Dec. 28, gifting in China is not just about politeness. Giving gifts is also increasingly a way to convey emotion, especially for Generation Z, and the tendencies vary widely by age.

According to JD’s data, parents are a constant recipient of gifts for consumers at any age. Generation Z is most focused on giving gifts to parents, teachers and classmates, where as consumers 26-35 years old give most frequently to their significant others. Middle aged (36-45 years old) consumers spend more on gifts for clients and friends, while elderly people send the most gifts to children, even grandchildren.

There is also a big difference in when people buy gifts. As consumers get older, they are more inclined to give gifts around traditional holidays such as Spring Festival, Dragon Boat and Mid-Autumn Festival, rather than based on personal dates of significance such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and more. International Children’s Day (Jun. 1) has the highest proportion of gift givers between the ages of 36-45 and over 56 years old, indicating parents or grandparents are the main force driving this consumption. Comparing data from Christmas, Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), 520 (Chinese Internet Valentine’s Day held on May 20, and the Chinese pronunciation of 520 and “I love you” is close to “I love you” are similar ) and Qixi Festival (Chinese Valentine’s Day) indicates that it is in fact Qixi festival which drives peaks in categories such as jewelry, watches and cosmetics.

Based on JD’s big data, an increasing number of leading global brands chose JD to release their new products or limited holiday gifting packages, such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Montblanc, OLAY, and others, during festivals and holidays. In December, JD has partnered with Japanese photographer Mika Ninagawa(蜷川实花) to release a limited holiday collection of apparel. Ninagawa is known for her brightly colored photographs of flowers, goldfish, and landscapes.

When it comes to choosing gifts, most people will choose ‘what the other person likes’. This increases with age. Younger people are more likely to directly ask the gift recipient what they want. They also pay more attention to the “success rate” of gift giving; in other words, making sure the gift they buy is what the recipient wants rather than a surprise just for the sake of it. Consumers between ages 16-25 are also most likely to shop for gifts online, as are consumers over 56 years old, who might appreciate the convenience due and accessibility of online platforms as they age.