How Enterprises Avoid 4 International Gifting Obstacles
- Top obstacles in corporate gift-giving for enterprise-sized companies
- How to navigate the top 4 obstacles with international gift-giving
- How to do international gifting easily
Did you know that corporate gifting is on the rise? According to one market trend study, corporate gifting is projected to grow to $306 billion by 2024. It’s probably no surprise. When integrated with a marketing strategy, gift-giving has been proven to help organizations cut through the clutter of digital marketing communications and deliver return-on-investments (ROI). For enterprise-level organizations, companies with a thousand employees or more, the need to establish authentic connections with both external and internal stakeholders has never been stronger. Whether it’s to surprise and delight a potential client for a multi-million (or multi-billion) dollar contract, or it’s to reward employees for going above and beyond, corporate gift giving is particularly complex at the enterprise level. Top obstacles for enterprise-sized companies and gifting include:
- Shipping logistics to consider due to the sheer size of the corporation
- Currency exchange rates for international recipients
- Cultural differences when selecting thoughtful gifts (hint, you need personalization at scale)
- Compliance, gift-giving laws, and customs
That makes choosing the right sending platform all the more important when it comes to corporate gifting at the enterprise level. There are a ton of choices out there, from local vendors to global platforms and everything in between. There are some that handle just branded swag, some that handle a specific category of gifts, and some that only handle direct mail. What’s more, not all platforms are designed to support large-scale companies with more than 1,000 employees. To that end, we thought it’d be a good idea to look at some of the core features global enterprises should consider when choosing a sending platform.
4 Common International Gifting Obstacles to Avoid
1. Global Fulfillment Footprint
First and foremost, global organizations need a gifting platform with a global footprint. This seems fairly obvious, but it’s a bit more complicated than it appears on the surface. Many platforms will say they can ship anything to anywhere in the world. And while that’s true, there are other things to consider. For example, if they’re sending everything from a central location, it’s highly likely you’ll be paying significantly more in shipping fees.
Shipping internationally is incredibly expensive. International shipping costs have jumped more than 500% over the past year, and that’s just for standard cargo shipping. Air shipping is even more expensive, averaging 12-16 times overseas shipping. These costs can make it incredibly difficult (and unnecessarily expensive) to scale corporate gifting programs, especially if you’re sending physical items. All this means one thing: Your sending platform needs to have a global fulfillment footprint. If you’re in the U.S. but have clients in Europe, it’s far faster and more cost-effective to send a gift through a platform that has a European presence. And that goes for both currency exchange issues and compliance costs (see below), on top of shipping fees.
Bonus points: We can even send a European eGift from a locally-owned European business to your European-based recipient. We’ve made “shop local” a streamlined experience for you.
2. Limitless Sending Options
As alluded to above, there are sending platforms that only handle gifts and others that only handle direct mail. But wouldn’t it be great to have a platform that does both? Why should your company use two different vendors (or more) to handle marketing, gift-giving, eGifting, and more?
A single platform that can do all of them — and can integrate with your own CRM and/or marketing automation platform — is likely not only easier to manage, but more cost-effective. What’s more, it’s important to have a sending platform that can handle a nearly infinite variety of mail and gift types. This can include standard direct mail and corporate swag, but how about handwritten letters and customizable food baskets or even cocktail kits? How about electronic gift cards or gift certificates for a local yoga studio? The bottom line here is that the more options your sending platform offers in one place, the more creative you can get, and the more you can measure from the software tools you are already using thanks to our many integrations.
3. Managing Exchange Rates and Compliance
Shipping internationally can not only get expensive, but sending gifts internationally can end up costing a pretty penny if you have to deal with exchange rates. This is particularly true if you’re sending gift cards. For example, let’s say you’re in the U.S. and want to send an employee in your office in Ireland a €50 gift card. Well, with exchange rates and fees, you’re going to end up spending a bit more than that due to the difference in exchange rates. What’s more, you’re likely going to end up paying some exchange rate fees. That’s where having a sending platform with a global presence comes in handy.
Gift cards can be issued in local currencies, all while avoiding exorbitant exchange rate fees charged by credit cards or other exchange platforms. What’s more, there’s always the issue of compliance with customs regulations. Some gifts in some countries are against the law. For example, if your standard gift for closing a deal is a nice bottle of champagne, there’s a good chance that the recipient will never receive it if they’re in one of the 14 countries where alcohol is illegal. Breaking customs regulations can also be expensive — for both the gift-giver and the receiver, with some country’s customs rules requiring the recipient to pay the customs fees upon receipt. But with a sending platform with an international presence, all these issues simply become irrelevant.
Our software has built-in “exceptions” that will pop up in the event you cannot send a certain item to a certain country or US-state. From there, we can recommend gifting alternatives, such as an eGift or Virtual Experience to save you the headache of a potential customs nightmare. Depending on the country, you can also choose to have an item shipped from within that country, ensuring that there are no customs violations, additional fees for the recipient, or any illegal items sent. We’re constantly expanding the selection of our gifts, with thousands of popular eGift options available worldwide, from Columbia to South Africa.