Shutterfly Business Solutions

The best way to measure ROI for your business gifting program

A strategy is only as good as the results it yields. In other words, without measurement, there can be no proof of success. But what’s the best way to measure the impact of a business gifting program? It’s not as easy as you may expect. The ROI equation includes far more than the program’s cost.

For starters, define why your organization is using a business gifting program. While that premise sounds obvious, it can be a highly nuanced idea. 

The benefits of business gifting are rarely revealed in a single metric. Business strategists understand that business gifting is a single approach with many applications, benefits, and use cases. Its versatility is where the challenge comes into play. You need to identify all possible areas, track past performance to identify trends, and then continue measuring each area to assess impact. 

Your question is not whether business gifting works — but how much it delivers compared to your investment. Also, how broad is its reach? For example, you may find your initial goals have to be expanded due to a halo effect. As we said, the impact is far-reaching. 

Let’s explore how three different Shutterfly Business Solutions partners use business gifting to achieve measurable business objectives. 

The use cases detail how the ROI of business gifting is measured in terms of:

  • Broadening Product Offering
  • Increasing Average Spend
  • Generating Subscription Interest
  • Generating New Revenue
  • Deepening Customer Engagement
  • Improving Participation
  • Providing Appropriate Recognition 
  • Elevating Employee Satisfaction 
  • Improving Employee Retention

The bulleted criteria provide a sampling of what business gifting can achieve. It also underscores why identifying the specific purposes is essential for measuring ROI and success. Without definition, you may never realize the full impact. 

Use case one: broaden product offering, increase average spending, and generate subscription interest

A customer specializing in AI-augmented images of children in the womb was looking to augment their business model. 

Their technology is highly innovative, turning ultrasound images into never-before-possible photos. The results created a surge in demand by expectant mothers. But the profit margins were thin. Why? It lacked a high perceived value because the deliverable was too simple. There’s only so much expecting parents will pay to have a digital file emailed to them. 

Our partner needed to increase the image’s perceived (and actual) value and how it could be delivered. The answer came by collaborating with Shutterfly Business Solutions. Our platform took their AI images and merged them with our catalog of premium business gift items. The result was a deliverable far more impactful, meaningful, and valuable to expecting parents. 

Initially a digital file, their product could now be delivered as ready-to-hang wall photos — or applied to other items. Plus, the parents can personalize the items with things like the baby’s name, the expected delivery date, and more. 

By merging the digital image with Shutterfly business gifts, this company was able to:

Broaden product offering 

One product offering becomes numerous catalog items, all with personalization capabilities.

Increase average spend 

Applying the image to a premium product and delivering in a more polished manner increased what parents would spend. It also opened the door to add-on sales through different item options and personalizations, with increased profit margins. 

Generate subscriptions

What was a one-and-done transaction now has an opportunity to provide a subscription service. To build excitement around the birth, parents and extended family can receive a new item with the yet-to-be-born baby’s image each week or month. 

Use case two: generate new revenue, deepen customer engagement, and improve participation

Youth sports are where lifelong memories are born. But they can also be a parent’s nightmare — especially if they are a coach or team manager. Handling rosters, coordinating schedules, and communicating with players is no small task. But one savvy company combined all of that into a single app.

This app is genius and has become the de facto choice for youth sports management. It’s proven, popular, and affordable, with multiple pricing tiers. It can even capture stats, schedules, scores, and uploaded photos. 

But what it’s never been able to do is convert the photos into keepsakes, souvenirs, team incentives, and more. 

Shutterfly Business Solutions can make all of these possible. With a catalog of items, including tumblers, photo tiles, and more. Each player’s family can even personalize their images with a score, name, tournament title, jersey number, or capture a stat-achieving moment like “Sophie’s First Goal.”

By integrating Shutterfly’s business gifting opportunities directly into the core functionality of the existing software, this youth sports app will be able to:

Increase total revenue 

Revenue that had been solely dependent on app sales now includes attractive profit margins from selling personalized gifts featuring athlete names, photos, numbers, and more. Those items are hot sellers to the players, their parents, and often extended family like grandparents. It’s foreseeable that the number one revenue generator in the near future could become gifting rather than the app itself. 

Deepen customer engagement 

The addition of gifting turned a single sport’s season into a twelve-month experience. Parents, players, and extended family refer to the app during the off-season to recall moments, relive memories, and order items as gifts for birthdays, holidays, family reunions, and other events. 

Extend player participation

Building memories and reliving accomplishments drives ongoing participation in sports leagues. It’s anticipated that sports memory gifting will entice athletes to play longer — a critical need as youth sports participation faces increased challenges from new hobbies/interests. 

Use case three: provide appropriate recognition while elevating employee satisfaction and retention

A leader in human resources faced a massively expensive conundrum. They understood the necessity and value of incentive programs such as employee gifts to commemorate occasions/achievements. However, they needed help to match the gift investment to the occasion. 

In short, they were spending too much to acknowledge small moments. 

This company needed to decrease the cost of the gifting program while maintaining or improving the acknowledgment’s perceived value. 

Their solution was found by partnering with Shutterfly Business Solutions. We gave them access to the Shutterfly platform, which provides gifts that match the significance of any occasion. With a catalog of thousands of items, finding desirable items at many price points was simple. So was implementing a solution that would automate the workflow. 

The resulting solution created a new employee gifting program that:

Matched the gift value to the occasion 

As mentioned, the scale of the Shutterfly product catalog and the variety of price points made it simple to match the occasion to an item. BUT, there was another factor that played an even greater value to employees — personalization. With the new system in place, employees could select the item they wanted, PLUS, they could add their photos, names, or unique messages to it. In some cases, managers could do this to personalize a surprise incentive for a valued employee. Personalization elevates the value of an item beyond its cost and turns it into an appreciated and unique item. 

Elevated employee satisfaction

Employees who are seen are employees who feel respected. Equally important, employees who can earn rewards achieve more for organizations. Whether your people are acknowledged or rewarded for hitting goals, their ultimate takeaway is work, job, and employer satisfaction. They know what they are doing makes a difference, and that’s an invaluable emotion to instill in a team.  

Improved employee retention

When employees are satisfied, they stay with their organizations. All business leaders know it’s more expensive to find and train an employee than to keep one. What’s more, top-performing employees are coveted targets by your competitors. Providing competitive pay, benefits, and work/life balance is not enough anymore. The role of incentives and rewards with gifts has become essential to employee retention strategies. 

Don’t forget to re-evaluate your criteria to determine true ROI

Defining your expected outcomes and then measuring ROI is good business. Thinking broader, however, is even better for business.

Shutterfly Business Solutions suggests evaluating your business gifting metrics at the end of each year. We also advise you to look at user feedback and explore where else business gifting may be having an impact. As you’ve seen, the results can be wide-ranging. 

Be sure to have an open mind and think broadly. If an area shows improvements without reason driving it, ask if it could be tied to gifting efforts. Sometimes, it’s hard to predict how big the halo effect of business gifting will be. 

Once you identify new/additional impact areas, include them in the yearly assessment. Add up all the gains, improvements, and positives. Account for the quantifiable (sales figures/retention rates) and the qualitative (feedback/surveys). Then, compare the results to the program cost. That will give you a good picture of your business gifting program ROI. 

Improve the ROI of your business gifting program with Shutterfly Business Solutions

Adding and then measuring the ROI of a business gifting program is key to sustaining its success and expanding its use to other objectives. When done with a professional partner, a gifting program can easily grow from serving a few select needs to achieving many business goals. All it takes is intelligent business strategies from Shutterfly Business Solutions.

As powerful as it is, business gifting is only one solution among many. Shutterfly Business Solutions has thousands more that are ready to deploy. Using our expertise, scalability, nationwide presence, and massive Shutterfly platform will maximize your communications.

Let’s discuss how Shutterfly Business Solutions can improve your omnichannel communications in business gifting, direct mail, transactional mail, greeting cards, and books

Capitalize on Shutterfly Business Solution resources and workflows to solve your communication challenges. 

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