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Instagram, Blackberry and Zoom: Why the biggest brands are building their own gift-giving webstores

“The old way of doing business is on hold.”

That’s the first line of the we use on our website to introduce for our own gift-giving platform, JNI Together. And perhaps that’s enough of an explanation for why the ecommerce solution is such a popular tool amongst brand-builders right now. It is, as our second line reads, “something totally new for the new normal”.

The online gift-giving platform is the marketing world’s response to our current reduced mobility. Instead of physically handing out branded swag at fairs or launch parties, we’ve gone online. Instead of a goody-bag, the world’s largest brands are now giving out promo codes to be spent on their own gifting platforms.

And they’re incredibly popular. At JNI, we’ve set-up a huge amount of these gift-giving sites, and we’ve done so for some of the biggest, most recognisable household brands.

Blackberry, Zoom, Nutanix, Intuit Quickbooks and Instagram have all asked us to create their own gift-giving online platform. The interest in this idea is unprecedented and it has left us wondering whether the ecommerce solution’s popularity can be boiled down to the simple fact that we’re still dealing with a pandemic.

How does an online gift-giving platform work?

As a tool in the marketing professional’s arsenal, branded merchandising works. It just does. If you want to know why, what cognitive biases and behavioural patterns make it work, then have a read of this informative article here.

If you don’t want to read that whole article, then mull over these statistics taken from the Advertising Specialty Institute’s 2019 study on branded merch.

· Consumers are nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a positive impression of branded merchandising products than they are of an online advertising campaign

· The humble branded pen will draw, on average, 3,000 impressions over its lifecycle

· 85% of consumers remember the company that gave them a branded t-shirt or hat

Because it works so well, remote working and the end of large social gatherings posed a question. How do we get our merchandise to potential clients?

The online gift-giving platform is the ecommerce solution. Your company sets up its own webstore then it sends voucher codes to its potential clients or employees. Once received, the voucher is spent on whatever branded gift is available on your company’s store and sent to the gift receiver’s home address.

Just like that your company’s branded paperweight, pen, t-shirt or portable charger finds itself at home in your potential client’s address.

Explaining the gift-giving platform’s popularity further


Yes, the importance of merchandise to the brand-builder does drive most of the reason we’ve seen such a huge uptake in this ecommerce solution. But the testimonials we have received from our clients suggests at something greater and we’ve decided to take a deeper dive into this popularity.

Information is key

If you are a brand-builder and you’re looking to set up a gift-giving store for your company, always ensure that the site your using is GDPR compliant. GDPR, short for General Data Protection Regulation, certification is really the benchmark for a well-built gift-giving platform.

Remember that your company’s potential customers are inputting their addresses and other personal information into your website’s data annals. Part of the reason we, at JNI, have been able to build so many gift-giving platforms for our clients is their confidence in the fact that our template is built to uphold the strictest data protection regulations.

With the help of Confablo, the webstore specialists, we’ve made our gift-giving platforms airtight and, from what our clients have said, this security is part of why they love this new idea so much.

Shifting toward e-solutions

Even before the pandemic, the globe was taking steps toward e-solutions. And there are several reasons why. One of which is the greater uniformity that an organised online solution offers.

Ecommerce brings the disparate parts of the globe closer together and helps organise it into manageable sectors. Before this era of connectivity, one could often find disparities between ‘Coca-Cola’ emblazoned t-shirts gifted in Australia when compared with the same product gifted in the US.

No longer. With the online gift-giving platform, your brand’s integrity is protected. T-shirts will be exactly the same colour, logos will be the same shape and in exactly the same place, and brands will be represented exactly as their designers intended.

Enjoying the merch without the events

It is beyond doubt that most of the reason why these online gift-giving platforms have become so popular is because of the continued strength of branded merchandising as a tool in marketing.

However, some of why we’ve seen such a huge uptake in these platforms is certainly because of the strengths in their design. Expect to see them around for a while yet and if you haven’t yet got one for your company, what’s stopping you?

If you want to learn a little bit more about gift-giving platforms or other webstores, then you can do so here.


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