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The Impact of Digital Marketing During the Pandemic for Gift-giving

A s the world moves more into the advancement of technology, it also brings digital marketing to reach new heights. Especially the pandemic of COVID-19 has broadened the horizon of digital marketing to keep up with the current events. The pandemic essentially directed many companies and businesses to build an online platform to allow consumers to still consume from the comfort of their homes. It is important to note that the pandemic resulted in many feelings of isolation due to the lack of interaction, which was an advantage to many businesses to digitally market their products in a way that would allow the consumers to engage in gift-giving. The circumstances that were faced during the pandemic encouraged society to be contact-less physically for health concerns. A result of this led to many people lacking that reminder of their loved ones due to not being able to be in their presence. As mentioned before, this was an advantage to many companies and businesses to build an online presence that would allow consumers to engage in gift-giving. The majority of things shift to an online platform, and the pandemic was the peak in online retail shopping. Studies have shown that the pandemic changed the retail buying behaviours due to what was showcased online. Common digital marketing that was demonstrated throughout the pandemic was businesses marketing their merchandise on platforms such as Tik-Tok. Tik-Tok is an online platform that can be assessed on a device or on the web, where people can watch and create personalized short videos. The New York Times states that Tik-Tok is rewriting the world. Tik-Tok is also a great place for trends to start as well

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As humans, the sense of belonging is fundamental to the way we organize ourselves as a collective. Tik-Tok was able to provide that sense of belonging to its audience through the trends that were taking place. The trends took digital marketing to succeed. For instance, when trends would occur, companies would take part in the trends with their social media presence alongside advertising their products which would boost consumption of their products. Another tactic that is being done by businesses is reaching out to a list of influencers to digitally market their products which catches the eye of the audience. This has influenced the realm of gift-giving because the concept of digital marketing now is so accessible that it makes gift-giving much easier. Digital marketing continues to benefit the companies as well as the consumers. Through digital marketing, consumers can shop easier, brainstorm better for gifts, as well as compare prices when buying gifts. Especially during the pandemic, digital marketing became a stable motivator for consumers when purchasing gifts. For instance, there are times when individuals scroll through pages of merchandise and products leisurely and come across an item that would be a good gift for someone. Regardless of if there is an occasion or not, digital marketing plays as a motivator to purchase that gift. In the case of digital marketing being a motivator, it is demonstrated to add to the extrinsic motivation of people. Extrinsic motivation is a motivation that leads individuals to perform a behaviour or engage in an activity that would result in being rewarded or avoided. Digital marketing is the motivator that then impacts the idea of gift-giving because it furthers the reasoning for gift-giving to others when there isn’t an occasion that is present that would commonly be known to engage in the act of giving a gift.

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Digital marketing has created this portfolio of endless choices and options when shopping. Due to the accessibility of gift-giving from digital marketing the selection of gifts can be beneficial. Humans need to have that opportunity to choose because it is associated with the autonomy and control that is experienced as humans. Autonomy plays a role in the quality of performance, which in this case is the performance of gift-giving. As for control, it is what needs to be done. Findings suggest that autonomy and control can co-exist if there is a clear ratio and balance between both factors. In terms of gift-giving, autonomy and control add to the process of what can be given as a gift. With that in mind, this can benefit the business aspect due to the benefits that it has on the free market. For businesses, digital marketing a showcase of products and having those added options is more of a gain than a loss.

Even though digital marketing has impacted gift-giving to where there is an outcome of benefit, there is also an outcome of a loss. Due to the accessibility of digital marketing and the digital advertising of products, the process of gift-giving alters. Traditionally, the process of gift-giving is to go to the store and look at the available merchandise and purchase from that selection. With digital marketing, individuals are given a range of options online. It is important to note that in some cases it is more stressful when given too many choices and options. Studies have shown that in some cases too many options can create anxiety. Too many options can create environments of anxiety and stress and can lead consumers to disengage with the process of purchasing a gift. From a business perspective, marketers assume that the more choices they can offer their consumers, the better. For instance, consumers can have a gift idea and in the process of purchasing this gift, there are a handful of other options of the same gift idea, it tends to consume the consumer on which option is the best. Studies have shown that consumers are less likely to purchase when there is a range of options due to the anxiety of satisfaction levels of their selection.

The impact that digital marketing has conveyed during the time of the pandemic concerning gift-giving has opened a grand scale of opportunity for the concept of gift-giving. Digital marketing continues to advance and further the benefits, alongside the downfalls. Digital marketing has helped businesses create growth in profits, as well as allowed consumers to feel the autonomy that comes with the engagement of digital marketing. Digital marketing benefits businesses to reach points of success, however, in terms of consumers, it is also able to hinder the process of gift-giving in aspects of the process itself and how that process impacts the consumer/gift-giver.

Naseea Harun
Psychology Blogger,
The Shared Secrets Lab,
GiftAFeeling Inc.

Read The Official Research Paper On - The Effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Gift-Giving

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