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The Future of Corporate Gifting is Digital

~8min reading time
Employee receiving a gift box with digital elements on top

Corporate gifting has always been a cornerstone of business operations, whether it’s rewarding employees for their hard work, building trust with clients, or strengthening relationships with business partners.

But why is it so popular and what benefits does corporate gifting offer businesses?

A CoreSight study found that 41% of companies who prioritise corporate gifting report improved employee retention, 80% report improved relationships with employees and clients, and 43% report improved brand loyalty.

However, winning in corporate gifting is not as easy as it sounds and it can be challenging to find a gift that both aligns with business policies and makes the recipient feel valued. With the Irish gifting industry estimated to be worth €1 billion by 2028 and 47% of Irish businesses planning on going fully cashless over the next 10 years, the stakes are high to get it right.

Gift cards often emerge as the top choice for rewarding employees and since Covid-19 forced businesses to reshuffle traditional methods, digital gift cards have become a game-changer as they offer convenience, flexibility, and security that physical gift cards don’t.

In this article, we explore the limitations of traditional corporate gifting methods, the benefits of switching to digital gift cards, and examples of how they can be used in real-world scenarios.

The Limitations of Traditional Corporate Gifting

Traditional corporate gifting, often relying on physical gift cards, has long been plagued by limitations that hinder their effectiveness, such as:

  • Physical gift cards often restrict recipients to a specific retailer or a narrow range of options, potentially leaving employees feeling uninspired or underwhelmed.
  • Procuring, storing, and distributing physical gift cards can be cumbersome and time-consuming for HR departments, especially for large companies with geographically dispersed teams.
  • The production and disposal of plastic gift cards contribute to environmental waste, contradicting the growing emphasis on sustainability in corporate practices.
  • Monitoring the usage and effectiveness of traditional gifts can be challenging, hindering companies' ability to assess the return on investment (ROI) of their gifting initiatives.
  • Physical gift cards are susceptible to loss or theft, which can frustrate recipients and cause companies to incur additional administrative overhead when replacing them.

In contrast, digital gift cards have emerged as a modern, flexible, and secure solution that overcomes these challenges.

The Advantages of Digital Corporate Gift Cards

Flexibility and Choice

Digital corporate gift cards like CleverCards can be used anywhere Mastercard is supported. So, whether it’s online shopping, travel, entertainment, dining, or even household expenses, recipients have 100% flexibility to spend their gift card wherever they want.

Tax Efficiency

The market for digital gift cards in Ireland is expanding rapidly as a result of the Small Benefit Exemption scheme enabling businesses to distribute up to €1,000 per annum, free from taxes. With a market size approaching €800m, on average, spending on gift cards in Ireland is up to 66% more per person than the European average!

Speed and Convenience

Unlike traditional gift cards, digital ones can be delivered instantly via email or text message, eliminating the need for finance or HR managers to spend hours ordering and distributing physical cards.

Increased Employee Productivity and Engagement

Deloitte research found that Irish companies who implement an employee gifting program experience a 14% increase in workplace engagement, productivity and performance. It also found that a 15% improvement in employee engagement can result in a 2% increase in business margins.

Eco-Friendly Business Practises

Eliminating plastic waste and reducing carbon emissions aligns with growing demand for sustainable business practises. In Ireland, 79% of people are worried about climate change, and 49% are more loyal to companies prioritising environmental sustainability than those that don’t.

Corporate Gifting Scenarios

The versatility of digital corporate gift cards makes them an ideal choice for a wide array of scenarios, including:


  • Christmas Gifting: Christmas is the perfect time to show employees how much you appreciate their hard work. By switching to a modern solution like CleverCards, you can order and distribute digital gift cards (in bulk) in seconds with little hassle and zero delays.
  • Performance Rewards: Recognise and reward employee achievements, from exceeding sales targets to completing challenging projects, with instant digital gift card bonuses.
  • Wellness Incentives: Encourage a healthy and balanced lifestyle by gifting your employees digital gift cards for fitness classes, wellness apps, or healthy meal deliveries.

Business Partners:

  • Relationship Building: Strengthen relationships with business partners by marking special occasions like Christmas, birthdays, or business anniversaries with a thoughtful digital gift card.
  • Milestone Recognition: Celebrate successful collaborations, contract renewals, or project milestones with a digital gift card that symbolises your appreciation for their partnership.
  • Industry Events: Acknowledge your partner’s participation in trade shows or conferences with a digital gift card that complements the occasion and showcases your support.


  • Feedback Incentives: Encourage valuable feedback and insights from your clients by offering digital gift cards as a thank-you for their participation in surveys or feedback sessions.
  • Loyalty Programs: Integrate digital gift cards into your loyalty programs to reward repeat clients and encourage long-term brand trust.

Granite's Switch to CleverCards for Corporate Gifting

Granite Digital, Ireland’s largest independent digital agency, distributes corporate gifts annually. Up until 2022, they faced challenges with its previous supplier of physical gift cards, including:

  • High costs and delays in ordering and delivering the gift cards.
  • Limited choice and flexibility for the recipients to use the gift cards at their preferred merchants.
  • Low satisfaction and engagement levels among the people who received the gift cards.

After switching to CleverCards, they reported:

  • 100% Net Promoter Score (NPS) from people receiving CleverCards, indicating exceptional satisfaction.
  • Higher satisfaction ratings compared to physical gift cards.
  • Positive feedback emphasising the ease of use and flexibility.

The Future of Corporate Gifting is Digital

Corporate gifting is a powerful tool for maintaining business relationships, motivating and retaining employees, and improving client loyalty. And with old-fashioned gifting methods proving to be limiting and inefficient, digital gift cards are quickly becoming the new future of corporate gifting.

Ready to upgrade your corporate gifting program? Learn more about Corporate Gifting or request a callback from a member of the CleverCards team using the form below.