Virtual gift delivery is a win-win-win experience for gift givers, gift recipients, and retailers.
We’ve become accustomed to virtual everything these days: virtual meetings, virtual games, virtual happy hours, virtual stores. The potential of e-commerce continues to threaten brick-and-mortar shopping: purchases via digital “clicks” continue to rise while traditional retail shopping is moving beyond physical stores. And with the expansion of the digital world into more and more of our daily reality, it follows that optimized gift giving with virtual delivery is the next frontier. Digital delivery is the cornerstone of how GiftNow can transform an often overlooked gifting moment into a positive touch point for both giver and recipient, with just one transaction.
So what exactly does digital delivery mean when it comes to tangible gifts and gift cards? And how can it save companies from fulfillment headaches, returns, exchanges, and rushed shipments, as well as calls and emails to customer service centers? (All of which are complications and expenses that inevitably eat into margins.)
Here’s how virtual delivery works, step by step, and how GiftNow uses it to create a positive gift experience for users: a simplified, yet still thoughtful, gift-getting process for recipients and a boon for retailers.
1. Gift givers choose a gift for virtual delivery.
- Consumer gifts: A consumer, while visiting a participating retailer’s online store, finds a gift or selects a gift card. They use the GiftNow button on the retailer’s website to make the purchase—a straightforward e-commerce experience similar to checking out with a retailer, and familiar to any online shopper.
- Corporate gifts: An event manager, sales rep, human resources employee, or any business leader looking to organize a bulk gifting campaign selects a gift assortment from the GiftNow collection. Multiple gifts can be chosen—for example, a small kitchen appliance, a trendy piece of apparel, or consumer electronics—so the recipients have a number of options to choose from.
2. The gift giver creates and schedules a personalized unboxing experience.
A personalized message created with GiftNow is far more than a simple text field—meaning even gift cards can have a personal touch now. The gift giver chooses from message themes, complete with design, color, and animation, that are appropriate for the occasion, such as a birthday, employee anniversary, or a holiday like Mother’s Day or Christmas, and chooses whether or not to craft a video message to accompany the digital gift. And lastly, the giver chooses the time the gift should be virtually delivered by text or email: either instantly or on a future date, without the need for a shipping address. The majority of GiftNow users choose digital delivery on the same day they purchase, proving what a benefit GiftNow is for last-minute gifting.
3. The recipient receives a text or email unveiling their gift or gift card.
With animated flourishes such as a gift box opening before the recipient’s eyes and confetti floating across their screen, a digital notification reveals the gift. The message theme helps make this virtual unboxing feel more personal and relevant—for example, a Valentine’s Day theme might include animated bursting hearts that reveal a written message from the gift giver.
With this unboxing experience, gift givers have the chance to be creative and expressive—providing a meaningful gift unwrapping moment that can be digitally delivered any time of day, despite any distance. That sure beats a cardboard box arriving on a doorstep or a cardboard sleeve with a plastic gift card inside!
4. Exchanges and customizations happen before the gift is accepted.
For simplicity on the fulfillment side, GiftNow allows the recipient to choose or change the size and color of their gift; provide their preferred shipping address; or even exchange the gift entirely—all before anything is ever shipped. These are important details that can stress out gift givers. The flexibility GiftNow offers helps the gift recipient be happy with their gift experience before they physically receive the item.
5. Shipping takes place after the gift is digitally delivered and accepted.
The shipment and arrival of the tangible gift happens after the virtual delivery and unboxing experience. But thanks to digital delivery, gift givers—even those shopping at the very last minute—are never late with their gifts.
Digital delivery means that gift givers can skip visits to the post office, and never miss out on a gift-giving occasion because of shipping cutoffs. For retailers, this can reduce the need to expedite shipping, and the likelihood of fielding frantic customer service calls. The gift can ship out per the standard shipping window—after all, it’s already arrived on time, virtually!
Digital gift delivery: A must-have Gift Experience Management offering
Delivering a gift digitally, as outlined above, means that merchants can empower the “shopping for others” market 24/7. Thanks to reduced stress on the gift giver, 94% of GiftNow users surveyed in a recent study* agreed that the service makes them want to give more gifts. That’s more gifts given, more consumer touch points, fewer logistical hassles, and fewer exchanges—a win for everyone.