The under-served world of gift deliveries

The under-served world of gift deliveries
Published on: Nov 16, 2022
Updated: Dec 7, 2022

For most e-commerce websites, it’s an afterthought: that tiny box at the check-out which says “is this a gift?”.

But gift orders and deliveries are another opportunity to create loyal, repeat customers. Let’s take a look at the worlds of personal and corporate gifting – plus, how you can improve the gift delivery experience for everyone involved.


The current state of gift deliveries

Do you offer a gift option on your e-commerce store? What does it involve?

Many e-commerce retailers offer to leave the shipping receipt out of gift deliveries. Some will add gift wrap or customizable cards to gift orders.

But the customer service ends there. There’s no enhanced tracking for people sending gifts, and there’s no attempt to recruit the gift recipient as a customer.

This is still the case, even though ordering gifts online has become much more common. And it’s not just a holiday phenomenon: people send gifts year-round, for birthdays, personal milestones, career achievements, and corporate gifting.

Sending gifts from e-commerce retailers is a very popular solution with people who work remotely, want to send gifts overseas, or are time-poor. There’s also the rise of subscription boxes – literally, a gift that keeps on giving for as long as the subscription lasts.

In a new report from Coresight Research, gift-buyers said that the quality of the gift was their most important concern. But it was very closely followed by timely and efficient delivery.

More people are ordering gift deliveries – and they expect better service from e-commerce retailers.


The rise of corporate gifting

Before we get into the details of better customer service, let’s look at corporate gifting. This is an area of huge potential for e-commerce brands and retailers, yet it’s almost never mentioned.

In their research, Coresight found that the corporate gift market will be worth $258 billion this year – and that’s just in the United States. Globally, spending on corporate gifts is growing year on year. Organizations send gifts to their favorite clients and most effective employees. They’re also increasingly likely to send recruitment gifts and recognition gifts in order to support diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

Online orders are a big part of that growth. 91% of companies which changed their remote work patterns during covid-19 say that they will maintain or increase the frequency of corporate gifting next year.

So what exactly goes into these corporate gifts? There are two major trends. First, gifts which can be ordered digitally are increasingly popular, such as gift cards. Second, personalization has become much more important. When organizations send gifts, they want to include personal messages, distinctive packaging, and maybe even personalized gifts.

Finally, Coresight found that the majority of companies organize gifting internally. In other words, they don’t use a corporate gifting platform. They’re ordering directly from e-commerce retailers… but they still expect a high level of professional service.


How e-commerce retailers can make gifting better

There are several easy ways that you can improve gift delivery for your customers, both private and corporate. Now is the perfect time to overhaul your systems before the holiday season gets here…

  • Enhanced tracking. When people send gifts, they’re understandably anxious to know that the gift has been delivered safely. Offer personalized tracking pages – ideally through a branded page, instead of sending customers to a third-party website.
  • Sustainable options. Sustainability has become a key issue for many people, and an organizational priority for many businesses. Offering a range of sustainable options for gifts, packaging, and delivery will help to draw in more customers.
  • Personalized messages for gifters and receivers. Communicate in a friendly, personalized way with both people involved in the gift exchange. As well as sending updates, you could share timely product recommendations and extra product information.
  • Follow up with both gifters and receivers. Gifts are a great opportunity to get double the customer feedback! You can ask for feedback and reviews from the person who receives the gift, as well as the person who sent it. Once again, you’ll need to reach out with personalized messages.

Improving gift deliveries means making just a few, thoughtful tweaks to your operations experience management. Don’t let gift orders be an afterthought – instead, make them an opportunity to show next-level customer service.

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