As the year draws to an end, many businesses are wrapping up their fiscal year and planning on ways to appreciate their employees, clients, and customers ahead of 2019.
In Nigeria, executives are accustomed to receiving traditional gifts such as rice, oil, chicken, cakes, and hampers filled with all sorts of provisions and food items. However, things are gradually changing due to the introduction of gift cards by a Nigerian company called SureGifts.
Established in 2014, SureGifts began as a small business exploring an unusual gifting solution in Nigeria: gift cards. In the U.S.A and other Western countries, gift cards are ingrained in the culture of gifting and giving, and hold a mass appeal as its use cuts across digital, mobile and physical channels, unlike traditional gifts that come as specific products or items.
In Nigeria, gift cards have also proved effective for many reasons. Its customizability, portability (can also be delivered via e-mail) and limitless access have been some of the reasons why HR managers go for this solution. Also, rather than restricting employees to rice, oil, cakes, etc., gift cards give the freedom of choosing gifts from an infinite range of items from some of the biggest stores across Nigeria including Jumia, SPAR, Samsung, Filmhouse Cinemas, Hubmart, Ruff and Tumble, Game, Startimes, etc. Recipients can even pay their utility bills with them. With gift cards, companies no longer have to worry about the size, colour or how trendy and functional a gift is.
SureGifts commenced business focusing on individuals and ways in which people could gift in a simpler and richer manner without having to worry about delivery, logistics, choice and other factors that come with gifting. Over time, the startup, founded by Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi, Adeoye Ojo and Babafemi Lawal, discovered that their solution was also valuable to human resources managers, finance heads, marketing and procurement teams that made use of rewards and loyalty programs for employee recognition, motivation, and client/customer appreciation.
In the past 4 years, SureGifts has grown to include Kenya as one of its operational locations and has absorbed over 300 organizations into its gifting and rewards platform. Some of these companies include Airtel, Dangote, and Andela who have been named as some of the best companies to work in according to a 2017 survey carried out by Africa’s top recruitment and employer-focused platform, Jobberman.
Often times, companies allocate budgets to rewards annually. It is out of these allocations that activities and plaques relating to retreats, long service awards, birthdays, anniversaries, employee of the month, giveaway campaigns and more are catered. In most cases, a large part of these amounts is spent on logistics and packaging which reduces the actual offer to the selected recipients. This in itself is a problem.
SureGifts has identified this and has positioned to help companies solve this issue with electronic or physical gift cards. By loading amounts on gift cards, branding them with company elements, and disseminating, companies cut out the stress and excessive logistic costs.
Aside from handling rewards and loyalty, SureGifts has noted its vision to build a formidable data-driven business in order to help companies make more informed decisions on incentives, promotions, and consumer behaviour. The Managing Director, Omolara Awoyemi explained this:
“We’re in a data-driven economy that requires a deep understanding of buyers by studying patterns in purchasing behaviour. Having launched the first online gift card business in Nigeria, SureGifts possesses a wealth of knowledge about the rewards and gifting culture in Nigeria, especially in the digital sense. With this knowledge, we’re working towards helping businesses build better relationships with their employees.”
Although Nigeria still has a long way to go in terms of adoption of gift cards, SureGifts has taken a seat as the number one gift card aggregator and shop by positioning as a holistic and cost-effective means of handling rewards and loyalty.