Gifts are big business in ecommerce. They’re the primary reason why the end of the year is so vital to retail. The opportunity to grow sales and acquire new customers is huge, and this applies not only to that time of the year but to gifting in general.
That being said, normally when we talk about gifting or gift strategy, we’re talking about individual customers buying for other individuals. While this is obviously important, it means that we’re often neglecting perhaps an even bigger opportunity - corporate gifting.
The corporate gifting market in the US is expected to be worth $258 Billion by the end of 2022, and over $312 Billion by the end of 2025. The initial boom over the last couple of years has been attributed to the effects of the pandemic, however 61% of corporate buyers expect gifting to continue to actually increase.
And the most popular option for corporate buyers? Gift cards.
As with individual gift cards, the opportunities are more than just sales. So, let’s break down what more corporate gift cards can do for your store, and how to enhance your corporate gifting experience.
The opportunity of offering corporate gift cards
Let’s start with the first and most obvious benefit of corporate gift cards - sales. As previously mentioned, the market for corporate gifting is big and growing year-on-year meaning the opportunities are only growing. Part of why the sales opportunity is so lucrative is simply that unlike individual customers, corporate buyers are purchasing in bulk. Rather than selling one $20 gift card in a transaction, you could sell tens or hundreds through just one corporate customer. The path to purchase may be longer given the higher order value, however once the customer makes that purchase the value to your sales growth is clear.
Gift cards are not only the most popular option, they’re also one of the easiest to implement and manage. Unlike physical gifts, the distribution is easy and requires little to no additional effort on behalf of the merchant in question. This also makes it easier for the corporate customer, as they don’t have to think about shipping addresses and costs typical of physical gifts.
Corporate gift cards also share one of the biggest advantages - acquisition and increased cart spend. In a standard gift card purchase, you have the initial order from the original customer then the order placed by the recipient to redeem the gift card. This presents two opportunities for acquisition, as the recipient will go through your customer experience in order to redeem their gift. Multiply this by however many gift cards are purchased by a corporate customer, and that could be hundreds of recipients who may end up becoming loyal customers.
As for cart spend, 75% of gift card recipients spend more than the value of their card. The average value of a corporate gift is between $25 to $125, with the most common value being around $75 to $100. Therefore when the recipients of these corporate gifts go to redeem them, you’ll likely be looking at a greater order value than the original purchase. With more traditional, physical gifts, this is unlikely as the recipient will simply receive and use the gift and there is less chance they’ll interact with your brand.
How to enhance your corporate gift experience
The benefits of offering a corporate gift card option are clear, however it isn’t enough to simply offer one, you need to tailor the experience. Much the same as you hone your gift strategy for your usual customers with promotions, content, and a seamless customer experience, your corporate customers will expect the same level of care and attention to detail.
Make it easy to buy gift cards through your store in bulk
Before you even start to promote corporate gift cards, it needs to be simple to actually purchase them. After all, these buyers also make online purchases in their free time, so are familiar with how easy it is to make purchases as an individual customer. Corporate customers want close to the same experience as they would for a personal purchase. In fact 67% of buyers have switched vendors to those that provide a more “consumer like” experience.
So, give them what they want. The first step is making it easy to buy gift cards in bulk. Typically when it comes to corporate gifting, the buyer will usually have to either fill in an enquiry form or reach out to your team to start the process. Instead, make it possible for these customers to buy gift cards in bulk from your storefront like they would as a regular DTC customer.
You can offer this feature using Govalo, which also allows customers to complete the checkout process like a regular customer, streamlining the corporate purchasing process. Corporate customers simply need to upload a CSV with the details of their gifts, and these will be automatically distributed. They can even add gift notes and select the date they wish the gift card to be sent on, making the experience personalized even though it’s a bulk purchase.
This enhanced experience will not only be great for the customer, but also for early on in the sales funnel when corporate customers are looking for options. Seeing this simple, easy, fast gifting option compared to traditional corporate gifting processes will be something that stands out as they scope out the best fit for their needs.
Create a landing page that explains the options available
Having a great product is one thing, but you also need to make sure that customers can actually find it. That’s why it helps to have a landing page which details what corporate products you offer and how it works. It will also help with discoverability, as you can include keywords to boost SEO for these customers who may use different terms to find your brand than your usual customers.
On the landing page, include products you offer for bulk purchases, and explain how the process works. If you offer gift cards and they can be purchased through your store, detail the process and how simple it is. This will be a refreshing change to typical corporate buying processes, and will again benefit your store’s SEO when a customer is looking for easier options. Once you have more corporate customers on your books, reach out to them for reviews which can be included as testimonials on your landing page to help persuade future customers.
Build relationships after purchase to foster retention
While offering a better bulk gift card option is great for the customer, it does remove that touch point your sales team gets when a corporate buyer has to get in touch to start the process. That isn’t necessarily a negative, however. It simply means that your team starts to build that relationship after the fact.By then the customer has not only already made a purchase, but they’ve had a great experience beforehand. This makes that relationship building easier for your team - it’s now about showing care, and taking a proactive approach.
Have a separate email workflow set up for when a customer purchases gift cards in bulk. This can act as a welcome series that’s more tailored to the kind of audience that will purchase in bulk. Offer contact details for your team, should they wish to reach out to someone in sales and marketing. This gives them a more personal point of contact, rather than the same support contact details a regular customer would receive. From there, keep the engagement up, making sure to touch base with corporate customers in the run up to key gifting periods.
Gifting is an important part of ecommerce, and not just during the holiday season. Especially for corporate buyers, there are many different reasons for purchasing gifts in bulk. It may be as a “thank you” for contributors after a big event, as a sales promotion to clients, or even as a part of a promotion for influencers. By making it easier to buy gift cards in bulk, merchants can open up a whole new revenue stream that can be promoted year-round and build key relationships with corporate customers.