How to get your Christmas wish list signed, sealed, and delivered.

 

Streamline the gifting process for your clients and employees

Christmas 2021 is looking likely to deliver more of the kind of cheer we are accustomed to after the cancellation of plans due to the pandemic last year put a dampener on the celebrations. Giving gifts to clients and employees has always been a part of the tradition and, with the media full of stories about the supply chain crisis, it’s best to kick off the process as soon as possible. In our blog, we look at how to plan the perfect gift and bring your Christmas plans to life.

Giving thanks

It can be easy to forget a formal thank you to your employees in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. Christmas is the perfect time to acknowledge your employees’ efforts and make sure that they feel valued after a demanding and challenging period. Providing you don’t spend more than £50.00 per person, there are no tax implications for what HMRC regards ‘trivial’ benefits. Showing your gratitude to employees and recognising their efforts can significantly boost morale and promote employee retention.

Retaining clients is a major priority for all businesses and it’s important to recognise their contribution to the success of your business especially in the wake of recent turbulent times. Giving gifts to clients during the festive season helps to cement your relationship and remind them how much they are valued. And don’t forget your suppliers, without whom your business would be unable to operate.

 

First things first

Most people associate the start of advent with 1 December but in fact, it covers the four Sundays before Christmas so could start as early as 27 November and as late as 3 December depending on the day of the week on which Christmas Day falls.

In 2021, advent officially begins on Sunday 28 November. Cadbury launched its first chocolate advent calendar in 1971 and calendars are becoming more sophisticated every year. Nowadays you can find almost anything behind the window of an advent calendar from fragrance samples, and gin miniatures, to LEGO® figures and teabags.

With advent calendars growing in popularity, why not think about how your brand could be brought to life as part of a Christmas countdown? Whether you are offering treats for clients or reminding employees how much they are valued, an advent calendar gives you 25 opportunities to get your brand message across.

 

 

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Your Christmas list

Having decided who’s on your gift list, you now need to narrow down what to send. Gifts can be fun or premium luxury depending on your budget. There’s a huge range to choose from and the most popular Christmas gift items include:

• Hampers full of treats and Christmas goodies
• Bouquets of blooms in winter colours
• Wine and champagne in attractive presentation boxes
• Themed packages on a winter or wellbeing theme
• Boxes of confectionery and luxury chocolates.

Choosing, ordering, and fulfilling a gift list can be a major undertaking and it is wise to involve the experts as early as you can to ensure that you secure the perfect gift, and get it safely to your recipients on time. Here are our tips for success.

 

Twelve Days of Christmas Gifting

1. Narrow it down

Don’t be bamboozled by choice. Draw up a rough wish list of the types of products your recipients will be drawn to and hand it over to a trusted and experienced supplier who can do the legwork for you and find exactly the right items to delight your employees and clients.

2. Time to spare

With items being sourced across multiple locations, you will want to pin down the lead times for orders and expected delivery dates, to give you time to add value with a personal touch or apply your own branding.

3. On the money

To ensure that you make the most of your budget choose a partner with the purchasing power to make your Christmas gift spending money go as far as possible. No matter how much you decide to invest, you will want to ensure that you secure the best quality items that reflect your brand values.

4. Timing is everything

When you place an order, you will need the reassurance that your gifts will arrive in time for the Big Day allowing plenty of time to sort, collate and re-package them and enable the finished gift to be fulfilled.

5. Planet first

We are all working hard to make the right choices for the environment, and you might benefit from a steer on the best sources of sustainable products from sources you can trust. Materials are changing ahead of the new Plastic Packaging Tax, and we can advise on ways to introduce more recycled content.

 

6. Spot on

Meeting individual preferences through personal gifts can be challenging but you may want to include some variations to accommodate allergies, food intolerances, health issues or religious constraints. Where gift items vary, even more care and attention are required at the collation and fulfilment stage to avoid embarrassing mistakes.

7. On brand

Remember that one of the primary benefits of gifting lies in conveying the values of your brand, whether you are thanking staff for their hard work, or clients for their business. Showcase your logo proudly and ensure that the creative concept and design is as professional as any external campaign. You will make an even bigger impression if you deliver your gifts in bespoke branded packaging such as a gift box or cardboard sleeve.

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8. The big reveal

Unwrapping a gift is even more exciting if attention has been paid to the quality of the packaging and gift presentation. Professional gift wrapping goes hand in hand with secure packaging to ensure that gifts arrive at their destination in the best condition.

9. Box clever

Whatever volume of gifts you are dealing with, storage space could quickly become an issue if everything arrives at the same time. Do you have somewhere safe and secure to keep items before you start that task of collating and packaging? You will need to check that your supplier holds the right licence if your gift includes alcohol. If you are sending perishable items, you need to know their shelf life and how they can be safely stored.

10. Wrap it up

Some gifts are intricate and harder to wrap than others. Trying to do this internally detracts from your day-to-day responsibilities and can take longer than you might expect. Experts in fulfilment can assemble packages at a much faster rate and ensure that your gifts look smart and are presented professionally.

11. Just in time

The final mile matters more at Christmas and with a fixed deadline, there is no room for slippage at the delivery stage. In 2021, Christmas Day falls on a Saturday so the last deliveries will be made on Christmas Eve. Royal Mail’s latest recommended posting date for second class mail is a whole week earlier on Saturday 17 December 2021. Bearing in mind the current pressures on logistics operations, it is worth factoring in some extra time to ensure that your gifts reach their destination on time.

12. Technical support

Gifting can be labour intensive, and it is challenging to keep track of stock and manage the distribution process without a little help from technology. Using a bespoke online platform set up especially for your brand will help you to manage the sourcing, storage, and fulfilment of your gifts at the touch of a button. You can keep all your up-to-date brand assets in a single location and track the entire process online from ordering to delivery.

 

 

Let us help to take the strain

PDS has a strong track record in providing gifting solutions across a range of sectors and we can help you to deliver all your Christmas requirements from designing the creative concept, selecting and sourcing gifts, producing your branded packaging, and looking after the storage and fulfilment.

Our expertise has been enhanced by the development of our PDS+ bespoke corporate gifting platform which simplifies the ordering and selection process and works to make Christmas gifting smooth and enjoyable. If you like the idea of handing over your seasonal gift planning to us, take the first step.

 

Book a call today.

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