From Selection To Delivery: Simplifying The Client Gifting Process

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Written by BusinessAlligators Support

Support Staff at BusinessAlligators is a team of business experts led by Shilpi Singh Trusted by over 100K readers worldwide.

April 24, 2024

Besides offering life-changing products and top-notch customer service, there’s one other thing businesses can do to show appreciation, build strong client relationships, and foster loyalty: sending gifts.

While digital-based perks like electronic discount coupons are much easier, they sometimes fail to guarantee customer engagement. Receiving physical gifts from your favorite brand just hits differently.

But we all know how messy it can be to send one—especially during the dreaded holidays. If you plan properly and streamline your client gifting process, you’ll avoid the challenges associated with this benevolent act.

So, if you’re considering sending gifts to your valued clients, you’re on the right page. We’ll provide insightful tips to simplify the process and help you get started.

Process Involved

Providing the best thank-you gifts for clients involves several processes. As with buying and sending presents, it begins with keeping a list, choosing the right items, purchasing, and shipping them. Sounds simple, right? Well, the reality is that it can be a nightmare if you don’t know how to do it right.

Here’s what a traditional client gifting process looks like:

1. Identifying Recipients

Like Santa (a.k.a. your parents), you must also determine who’s on your ‘nice’ list. For this, you must have accurate and updated contact lists to ensure you send the right incentive to the right person at the right address. This can save you time and headaches in the future.

2. Picking Appropriate Gifts

Selecting the right product for client gifting requires considering these key factors: their preferences, the occasion, and budget. For example, you can assemble a personalized thank-you gift basket filled with your customer’s most purchased products. If you can’t provide the items yourself, coordinate with specialists for help with gift ideas and more.

3. Ordering

After picking a gift, you then coordinate with multiple vendors. Expect the process to drag further, especially if you’re sending a bespoke gift or shipping a set as a gift basket mentioned earlier. Your supplier should be able to offer a wide range of gift options and work on your unique requirements. But here’s a fair warning: it takes time to find the right one.

4. Packaging

Whether it’s an individual thank-you gift or a corporate present, you can’t send one without appropriate protection. Shipped items are exposed to the elements and could get damaged while transported. This holds even if you’re shipping flowers or product sets. Choose a sturdy packaging that safeguards and preserves the integrity of your items.

5. Delivery

You’d think this is the easy part. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. Even if you’re outsourcing the delivery process, you still need to track shipments and handle returns, just as you would when selling and shipping merchandise. It applies whether you’re sending a unique client gift for a few or delivering bulk client gifts for special occasions.

As you may have realized by now, client gift-giving is a time-consuming process fraught with uncertainties. There’s a risk of overlooking important details if you don’t know how to coordinate and follow up. The higher number of transactions you take, the more potential for errors or delays.

How to Streamline Your Gifting Process

Wouldn’t it be nice to streamline your client gifting process without skipping the crucial steps above? Absolutely. Here’s an overview of the things you can do to simplify the process at every stage:

1. Automating Your Recipient List

Sifting through your spreadsheets could take hours. It would be best if you have customer relationship management (CRM) software or an automated list to save time. With such tools, you can maintain up-to-date recipient lists and preferences within the platform—so you don’t have to second-guess or ask them what they want to receive from you.

2. Using AI for Gift Selection

Clients feel valued and heard if they receive custom offers from a brand. A 2021 McKinsey survey revealed that 71% of consumers expect personalized brand interactions, and a higher 76% get frustrated if they don’t receive them.

To earn a positive brand impression, you’d need to adjust to the customers’ interests when showing appreciation.

Leverage curated gift collections or artificial intelligence-powered recommendations to make your selections on point. Doing so ensures your gifts are thoughtful and meaningful, tugging your clients’ heartstrings and strengthening your connection.

3. Personalization and Branding

Sending your customers an appreciation gift is another opportunity to get your brand out there. Ensure you do the branding and personalization right. Make sure the design and packaging reflect your image and values. As sustainable brands attract more buyers, we suggest you use recycled paper or plastic when wrapping your presents.

More importantly, add personalized messages, engravings, and other branding elements to gifts. Each item should show your business name or logo, for instance, when using T-shirts to promote your brand. Implementing strategic branding with every gift-giving opportunity enhances the recipient’s experience and reinforces recognition.

4. Integrating the Ordering and Delivery Process

In most cases, simplifying the client gift-giving process requires outsourcing. Most businesses don’t have the time or the resources to execute this strategy effectively, so it’s best to find companies that can do the job better.

Centralize gift selection, ordering, and delivery processes through a single platform. Some comprehensive gifting solutions allow you to automate order placement, payment processing, and shipment tracking. Additionally, you can search for one that enables seamless integration with your existing CRM or other customer data systems—so you don’t have to worry about switching from one program to another.

Incorporating these processes eliminates the need for manual and time-consuming coordination with multiple vendors. It also reduces logistical complexities. If you’re supplying the items yourself, utilize real-time inventory management to avoid stock-outs. A centralized inventory and logistics management system helps guarantee timely delivery. It minimizes delays caused by stock shortages that trickle down to late shipping.

Choosing the Right Gifting Solutions Provider

Working with gifting solutions experts lets you focus on your core business activities without scrambling to fulfill this marketing activity. Here’s what you should look for when picking the right partner:

1. Reputation

Work with a gifting solutions provider with a proven record in your niche. Check their previous clients and find out what they have to say about the company. While online testimonials are a good starting point, you can also get one or two references to validate online information.

2. Customization Options

As this is a marketing opportunity, make sure that you can insert your brand in every gift and as creatively as possible. Ask about the range of branding and personalization choices they offer and decide whether they align with your goals.

3. Customer Support

Your job doesn’t end when clients receive their gifts. As mentioned, the multiple activities involved in sending gifts expose it to certain risks. If things don’t go as planned, like product damages and returns, you must ensure your provider can help you tackle the issue. Factor in responsiveness and client satisfaction when seeking a provider.

4. Scalability

This activity is rarely a one-off endeavor. To establish client trust, you must be consistent and send gifts annually, at the minimum. As such, you need a partner who can grow with you. Pick a company that can handle bulk client gifting to manage your ever-growing recipient list.

5. Integration capabilities

Since you’re keeping an automated list, ensure your provider’s systems can integrate with your CRM and other customer data tools. Just make sure to keep data private at all times.

Client Gift-Giving as a Marketing Tool

With the time, effort, and costs required, is gift-giving a worthwhile investment? The quick answer is yes, but only if you’re smart about it.

Marketers have been guided by the ‘what’s in it for me’ principle since antiquity—especially when creating sales copies. This focuses on the benefits of the product or service rather than its features.

Sending gifts takes this to another level. Instead of promising what they’ll get, you show appreciation by sending them a present with tangible benefits. Doing so lets them know that your brand is interested in meaningful connections rather than just taking their money. As a result, they’re more likely to support and trust your brand.

That makes a well-thought-out gift-giving campaign very effective. When done right, it can foster stronger emotional bonds and increased loyalty.

Measuring the Impact of Your Client Gifting Campaign

Any business expense must provide a return on investment—client gifting included. At first glance, measuring your campaign’s results can be challenging. However, since your data are automated, it’ll be easy to look at the relevant metrics, for example:

1. Sales Revenues and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Analyzing your sales revenues can help you track the impact of your gift-giving activity. Just make sure you can correctly attribute a sale resulting from it. We suggest looking at the customer lifetime value (CLV), which records the client’s initial and repeated purchases and how long they’ve been interacting with the company.

If you’ve attached discount coupons to each gift, count the number of redemptions to determine whether your gift was interesting enough to drive purchases.

2. Brand recognition

This one’s harder to measure, but it’s possible. Most recipients are happy to return the favor by creating a buzz about your brand. Find out the number of mentions you’ve earned across all online platforms after the gift-giving spree. Then, determine whether they come from any of your clients or their network of friends and colleagues.

3. Referral data

Speaking of connections, you can launch a referral program alongside your client’s gift-giving campaign. To measure its impact or effectiveness, collect program-exclusive data—for instance, the number of referrals and purchases generated from these.

4. Satisfaction rates

You can also be direct and send a survey to determine whether they’re satisfied with what they received. Otherwise, you can ask your client for their preferences for the next campaign.

Accessing comprehensive reporting and analytics is essential for campaign performance insights. They provide the right metrics that fuel your future decisions. If a certain gift and marketing tack generates more impact than others, it might be worthwhile to adopt the strategy to a wider audience. Ultimately, these metrics can guide you in fine-tuning your campaigns for optimal results.

Optimize Client Gifting Campaigns

Gift-giving can be stressful for businesses—especially when clients are involved. Consolidating the entire process—from finalizing recipient lists, choosing gifts, placing orders, tracking deliveries, and monitoring campaign impacts—into a single platform creates a seamless experience for your business and its valuable clients. So is partnering with a reputable provider offering end-to-end services.

With these solutions, you’re ready to become an awesome brand your clients can trust. Ace this, and you won’t have problems building or expanding a solid client base.

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