The results are in! And BRISTOL tops the charts when it comes to the most thoughtful cities in the UK.
A new report from our sales at Bombus reveals some interesting trends regarding the UK’s most thoughtful and caring towns and cities, showing who has some of the biggest hearts when it comes to personalised gifts purchased for family, friends, colleagues and loved ones.
It’s been quite a year, and the trends in online gifting were exciting and emotional. With so many social connections being lost to the pandemic, people turned to sentimental gifts to express their love and friendship to those they missed most. But who were the most thoughtful over the past, difficult, twelve months?
Well, we ran the data…and this is what we found.
The UK’s top 20 most thoughtful towns and cities (calculated by total volume of gifts purchased per capita of population) uses data for the period 1st October 2020 to 31st March 2021 and identifies the following order:
We did notice in the studio, that a lot of our orders remained in the South East! And whether that was due to people truly trying to SHOP LOCAL remains to be seen, but out of all regions of the UK, the South East has the most cities and towns ranking in the top 20.
This makes the South East officially the biggest hearted region in the UK!
Shop Small, Shop Local
Shopping Local IS important. But we like to think that the whole of the UK is local to Bombus. After all, we are all about the maps, and the most beautiful maps in the world are of our small little island (and no, we’re not just saying that, look!)
There are a lot of campaigns at the moment about how important it is to support small independent businesses. Have a look at this article here that makes a superb case for why we should all be ditching mass produced consumerism for the more unique!
Towns that were busy doing something else…
At the opposite end of the altruistic scale there were some surprises, with several larger towns and cities such as Carlisle, Halifax, Lincoln, Doncaster and Newport showing gifting tendencies significantly below the nationwide average.
But it’s not all about the volume of sales.
Whilst being in the top 20 towns and cities is a strong indication of how thoughtful, romantic or caring the location is for gifting per capita of population, the towns and cities listed below can also lay some claim to having the biggest hearts as they led the way in the actual propensity to buy a gift v the websites average in this period, which was 3.1%.
Farnborough’s propensity to buy was 8.8%
Bath’s propensity to buy was 7.3%
Guildford’s propensity to buy was 7.1%
Harrogate’s propensity to buy was 6.9%
Rochdale’s propensity to buy was 6.7%
Hemel Hempstead’s propensity to buy was 6.4%
What were the reasons for such a huge number of thoughtful gifts being sent out?
We asked our Director Amelia to give us some insights.
“The nation missed their Mums. We saw a huge lift in people sending keepsake gifts and thinking of you cards. Not just around Mother’s Day, but for the whole of last year. People really missed their Mums and were desperate for that long-awaited hug.
All of the gifts from Bombus can be personalised with a meaningful message, so people were sending hugs through the post to their loved ones. But lately the messages have become much more optimistic and hopeful as there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
One of our most popular gifts over Mother’s Day was our handmade Daffodil Bottle Keepsake. And we can see why it hit a chord. Not only is it a symbol of spring, a beautiful forever flower, and something that easily fits through the post…it can also be personalised with your own special message. This means it was simply perfect for people to send to their Mums, to tell them how much they missed them.
When the volume of gifts purchased is broken down across the home nations, England dominates with 86.9% of all purchases, followed by Scotland 7.8%, Wales 3.7% and N. Ireland 1.6%.
Despite the huge volume of sales attributed to England, Scotland has THREE cities in the top 20 most thoughtful towns. This proves what we’ve known all along, that the Scots do indeed have some of the most generous and thoughtful hearts.
Outside of the UK, the most thoughtful international cities for buying gifts for loved one’s were Sydney, Melbourne, San Antonio, Singapore, Paris, New York and Dubai.
What sort of people were shopping for thoughtful gifts?
In terms of the individuals behind these gift transactions during the 6-month report period, the following gender and age brackets were the most likely to purchase a gift for someone they care about.
Women completed 69% of all transactions
25-34 years old were the most likely group to purchase a gift (27.7% of transactions)
35-44 years old were the second most likely group to purchase a gift (18.1% of transactions)
What we have also seen, is that over the course of the pandemic there has been a huge lift in people over the age of 65 purchasing gifts over the internet.
If there is anything positive to come out of the last year, it could be said that it is the opportunities it has brought to encourage the older generations to adapt to new technology. We hope that the trend continues and that online businesses adapt and support this new demographic as much as possible.
Based on the messages that accompany a Bombus gift, the people buying gifts were friends purchasing something special for their best friends, daughters choosing something to send to their Mum, and family members reaching out to those they had been unable to see for several months.
What were people buying?
With Mother’s Day in the UK still carrying a number of restrictions on travel, ‘Missing You’ gifts and messages of thanks were very popular when it came to adults sending extra special keepsakes to their Mums who may have been shielding or too far away to visit.
There was also a big lift in last minute sentimental gifts at Christmas.
Once the rules were changed to lockdown over the holiday, a number of purchases were those who were making promises of future celebrations, and emotional expressions of how much their loved ones would be missed. Our most popular gift at Christmas was this:
Best Selling Products
Some of our best-selling gifts purchased across all geographic locations are listed below by category:
About the data in this release
Generated bi-annually in April and October for previous 6-month period
Source of data combines Magento platform, Google Analytics and postal software
Data compares 10,000s of transactions including those from ETSY