Corporate Gifting Platforms vs Manual Gifting

Sep 5, 2022 | Corporate Gifting

Corporate Gifting is Becoming More Prevalent

Over the years, the corporate gifting culture has gained prominence as more and more large corp execs and smaller enterprise managers have started to realize the importance of nurturing business partnerships and driving reward-driven prospecting, sales, and marketing campaigns. 

The first record of mass gifting in the corporate space dates back to 1883 when John D. Rockerfella gave his employees calendars. The gesture quickly spread like wild corporate fire, and in no time, gifting in the workspace became a ‘thing’. As the 1900s drew closer, companies started getting creative with the gifts, adding branded shirts, stationery, and merch to the list. 

While present-day corporate gifting follows a similar pattern, businesses have gotten even more creative. Instead of simple brand-focussed merch, recipients, depending on the type and Dollar value of the relationship, receive more diverse items such as sports equipment, self-care items, snack-filled baskets, and tech gadgets amongst other items. With these advancements came the need for improved processes that take the admin-heavy element out of corporate gifting, leaving a seamless experience for the service provider, the giver, and ultimately, the recipient. 

In this blog, we highlight the core difference between manual and corporate gifting platform-facilitated gifting, underline some issues that arise when gifting manually, and delve into the solutions offered by corporate gifting platforms.

How Gifting Is Done Manually

To dissect how labor-intensive manual gifting is, we’ll use a typewritten letter to be sent to multiple recipients as an example: 

Suppose you’re tasked with typing a letter meant to communicate an important change in your business and every high-ranking executive is to receive it. Now, because each letter is to be addressed to an executive in each department, you will need to type each one manually and add unique details as you go. Imagine how cumbersome it would be?

Manual gifting follows the same method as the above. With each unique intended recipient, you will need to:

  • Source contact details and/or addresses 
  • Contact different vendors to source different items
  • Manually wrap each item as they need to be sent out
  • Possibly source a different service provider for branded collateral
  • Manually work on messaging for each gift
  • Contact shipping service providers and handle fees manually (invoices and POPs)
  • Track deliveries 
  • When shipping internationally, manually deal with customs
  • Manually contact recipients to ensure that gifts were correctly delivered
  • Manually work on recons 
  • Repeat

Not only does the above-dissected process require multiple people from your organization to handle, but the time and financial resources are used up, leaving little room for strategizing and reporting.

Problems That Arise When Sending Corporate Gifts Manually

Besides the need to manually input data, contact vendors, and oversee shipping processes, there are quite a few issues that may arise when opting for manual corporate gifting, especially frequent and large-scale gifting. Let’s look at a few: 

  • Unavailability/ poor quality of items: When vendor contact is done manually, you run the risk of not being able to acquire certain items due to stock and warehousing issues. This may delay manual steps to follow and incur higher costs.
  • Packaging issues: Most gift item vendors service both commercial and private gifters, and given the thin formality line, gift items sourced may not adhere to corporate standards in terms of packaging and messaging. This may require additional monitoring and support.
  • Shipping addresses: Because of a lack of integration with a CRM or mailing list software, you run the risk of sending items to incorrect addresses, or when recipients aren’t available to receive items. This may result in multiple shipping costs. 
  • Customs and duties for international gift shipping: Rules and regulations governing the import and export of items may negatively affect delivery, and high import costs will negatively affect the budget and incur further losses. 

Budget issues: Due to unpredictable hindrances to the manual corporate gifting process, it’s almost impossible to have set in stone budgets to support corporate gifting.

What Is a Gifting Platform

A corporate gifting platform is an online automated gifting system that enables the selection, storing, sending, management, and tracking of corporate gifts and branded SWAG items in one central platform. Much like continuously emerging e-commerce platforms that facilitate buying and selling without the need for any manual work, corporate gifting enables senders to seamlessly initiate and launch corporate gifting campaigns. All you need to do is select the gifts or collection options that you want to send online, provide some contact details for the recipients and you’re good to go!  

One of the main benefits of using a gifting platform like Giftsenda are automated gifting tools that enable you to send gifts via email or shareable gift links,  allowing recipients to choose their own gifts, in more than 200 countries. Additionally, the Giftsenda platform integrates with CRMs to fast-track gifting processes.

Need to know what your ROI on campaigns are?  Using the built-in tracking and reporting features, you can track rates of deliveries, shipping points, and responses to measure against targets.   

According to Forbes, the corporate gifting culture grew from routine to priority when the pandemic spiraled out of control, resulting in deep disconnects between employers and employees, as well as brands and customers. As events moved online, it became a norm to ship gift boxes intended to appreciate attendees for their time, and frequent care packages to employees for morale purposes. Not only were internal relationships in the limelight, but corporations began to understand that partners and customers had to be rewarded too. 

Having turned in about $242 billion in 2021, the corporate gifting industry is expected to grow at an accelerated 8.1% CAGR through 2024.

How To Gift Using a Corporate Gifting Platform

Launching successful corporate gifting campaigns depends largely on your industry, target prospects, and objectives. Before even considering how much you’re willing to invest in your corporate gifting campaigns, the ‘who, why, when, how’ need to be addressed. Use the below multi-step process to help you better forecast this:

Input (Internal): The first step is to categorize potential recipients (staff, current clients, cold leads, prospects, or even customers who have logged support tickets), identify and state the reasons behind wanting to send these recipients gifts (reward, appreciate, rekindle, entice, celebrate or even apologize), and align your contacts accordingly. Fortunately, when using our corporate gifting platform to launch your campaigns, there is no need to have your recipients’ addresses on hand as the platform should facilitate address-less gifting. Ask us how!

Process: Now that the recipients have been ‘tiered’ and the objectives defined, it’s time to put your dollar where your target is. Decide on and allocate a budget for each recipient tier, and spread the budget across your fiscal. Allocate amounts for core events, ABM campaigns, holiday-dependent tactical campaigns, commemoration events, and floating holidays. 

Output: This is when you launch your campaigns on your corporate gifting platform. Worried about if your gifts will make the right impact? On Giftsenda, your recipients are also given an option to either receive, reject, swap, or donate their gift items, to improve acceptance rates.  After the gifts have been sent, you can also monitor the performance of your campaigns with ease.

When adding gifting to your sales and marketing pipelines, the gift item is not the highlight of the experience, but your gesture is. It is in human nature to be moved by gifts, and similarly, it is the nature of the business to capitalize on the effects gifts have on recipients to forge lucrative relationships. By using a corporate gifting platform you can save time by automating various aspects of gifting and enjoy the benefits of a gift-first approach.

Ready to get started with corporate gifting on a global scale? Book a 30-minute demo with one of our Gift Campaign Managers to see how our gifting platform works and to get access to a free trial.