What is customer acquisition

What is Customer Acquisition?

Customer Acquisition is the attraction and retention of new customers to grow your business.

So, how do we do it and can it be done better? Are you effectively using the full resources of your business to drive B2B customer acquisition or is new customer acquisition something you leave solely to a new business department? Is your process measurable and repeatable without feeling inflexible or robotic?

Many businesses these days utilise Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms to capture data on successful (and not-so successful) conversions. Once analysed, this data should help them learn what works and refine their customer acquisition.

But the data you capture is only as good as the strategy you employ. All parts of a business can contribute to increase customer acquisition – and as a result we need to approach it strategically. Everyone within a business, whether you employ three people, 300 or 3,000, needs to understand not only the importance of customer acquisitions, but their own role in that process.

Before the funnel there was…the funnel

Customer acquisition is, in sales terms, typically described as ‘top of the funnel’. It’s seen as the first step into the sales funnel that describes how a business engages with a customer to convert their interest into a sale or sign-up.

However, customer acquisition has its funnel:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion

How our teams, our creative and our channels engage with prospective customers at these early stages is crucial to successful customer acquisition.

Who are you?

Awareness is the first strand of customer acquisition. If people are not aware of your brand or business, there is no chance they will become a customer.

Drawing attention can be done in a number of ways:

  • Marketing – get your brand seen exactly where your customers are. From paid social to print ads, broadcast media to blogs, emailers to webinars and more, marketing your business secures eyeballs and is the most direct way to raise awareness. It’s worth noting that tactics like emailers will require consent under GDPR – find out more here.
  • Creative assets – from branding to ad designs, the right creative is great at capturing attention wherever it is placed. Imagery and, increasingly, video offers a great way to get key messages and benefits across to prospects in a short window of time
  • PR – tell your stories. PR is one of the most cost-effective and trusted ways to raise awareness. Whatever the size of your business, there is a PR solution, from employing an in-house team to working with an agency or freelance professionals. An experienced head can help make your stories impactful and get them in front of the right people to secure coverage.
  • Sales incentives – These are an impactful way to attract attention. But it’s about more than simply slashing costs. Using data-driven strategies, you can create trackable sales incentives that measurably increase awareness and support customer acquisition.

Target relevant outlets and audiences with attention-grabbing content that quickly and details what you offer and why it is beneficial. Striking the right tone will get you noticed and begin to build awareness.

The attention question

For outbound awareness activity, you also need to bear in mind the attention span of your audience. This can differ across audiences, but as a rule of thumb recent research by media platform Teads and Lumen Research found that a single exposure to awareness content needed to command attention for 100 milliseconds to 1 second, activity further down the funnel needed to elicit linger dwell times:

  • Familiarity: 1s+
  • Favourability: 3s+
  • Consideration: 9s+
  • Purchase intent: 8s+

Find your tribe

Customer acquisition of course is not only reliant on attracting inbound engagement. Actively seeking potential customers to target is highly important.

Your initial awareness activity can, in part, help to gather potential prospects to reach out to – through thought leadership and data assets requiring data capture – – for example, downloadable reports.

If you can research your target audience you can, even under GDPR, cold-call, however, this is not always the most effective way to acquire new customers.

When considering purchasing contact lists of potential customers, take care. Not only is the suitability of these leads likely to vary wildly, but you need to seek your own specific permission to contact them – and record it correctly – to comply with GDPR. Your first contact with a cold lead must give them a clear opportunity to opt into communications with you or opt-out – and getting that wrong can be costly!

If you have a CRM platform, you can often import your prospects and streamline the qualification process – speeding up how you sort true potential customers from those who do not want or need what you offer.

Working with your marketing, social and PR teams is also essential to outbound customer acquisition. They will be able to flag individuals who engage with content but may not follow-up with further actions or contact, or those who have posted queries in either direct messages or comment sections. They can also offer you sector insight, helping you shape your offer based on customer behaviour, the current news agenda and how your brand is perceived and engaged with on social.

All this contextual data will give you the ability to refine your communications and outreach and make your customer acquisition strategy more successful.

Importantly however, when using these tactics to support customer acquisition you need to ensure that they are focused on driving action. Awareness alone is not an efficient way to drive behaviour. Crafting messaging and imagery with calls to action (CTAs) that guide and nudge prospects to the next stage effectively requires planning and teamwork.

Why you?

Once people are aware of your business, you need to answer the why question. Maybe you are the market leader, perhaps you offer the best value, and possibly (though less likely) you are the only business offering a particular product or service.

What matters is getting these messages noticed and understood in as short a time as possible – an instant if you can.

Consideration is a research phase that relies heavily on your website, blogs and initial interactions with customers through social media messages, emails or calls. But being able to serve potential customers the detail – and solutions – they need in short, snappy, engaging ways will keep them on your pages for longer and increase your chances of bringing them into the fold.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, however, so it’s important to ensure that we quality-check all the key touch points for someone in the consideration phase:

  • Is our branding consistent?
  • Is our tone of voice appropriate?
  • Is the customer journey on our website simple and efficient?
  • Is the frequency and relevance of our marketing communications correct?
  • Are we effectively presenting our worth to potential customers?

If a prospect interacts with one or more of these touchpoints and finds something ‘off’ or that raises a red flag, we will most likely lose that acquisition opportunity. Get it right and prospects will be ready for the conversion phase, when your sales team will begin drilling down into how your business can help new customers meet their challenges and goals.

Making it happen

When customers are ready to pass on to the sales team, they are entering the buying phase. Building a relationship at this point is key. Offering products or services that quickly and comprehensively solve a prospect’s biggest pain points is crucial but, in the end, some things never change.

People buy from people. If your team approaches their work with honesty, integrity, kindness and enthusiasm and takes time to listen to the challenges a prospect wants to address before offering a solution, they are more likely to successfully bring a new customer on board.

Whatever your business, B2C or B2B, what customers need from you, how well you can provide that and how good they feel throughout the process will ultimately determine whether a prospect becomes a customer.

Data-driven customer acquisition

Love2shop Business employs an expert team of engagement and acquisition professionals to help you build an efficient, reliable customer acquisition strategy.

Using our suite of incentivisation products, our innovative engagement platform and decades of experience, Love2shop Business can support your acquisition goals and your customer acquisition goals. Visit business.love2shop.co.uk to learn more.

What is customer acquisition

Customer Acquisition Strategy

For any business to succeed, it’s important to have a good level of acquisition from your customers. With the right steps in place, employers will be able to boost all kinds of marketing schemes to their full potential.

So, what exactly is ‘customer acquisition’? Well, in simple terms, it’s all about bringing in new customers – and keeping them! This level of attraction and retention takes time to grow. But when it does, customers remain loyal to your brand for life.

Let’s take a look at what a customer acquisition strategy is, different examples of them, and how to choose ones that work for your business.

What is a customer acquisition strategy?

A customer acquisition strategy is a method that involves persuading people to invest in your business. This might include buying your products, using your services, or choosing your brand name over competitors.

Customer acquisition and retention strategies present a solid process for attracting the right kind of people to your business. You’ll probably have organic customers visiting your site. But it’s the returning customers who’ll help develop and grow your business.

That’s why it’s important to invest in the best customer acquisition strategy for you. In the end, it’ll help establish repeat purchases, maintain customer loyalty, and grow steady revenue over time.

What marketing tools are used for customer acquisition strategies?

When it comes to consumer retention, there are numerous marketing tools available. It all depends on which ones work well with your customer acquisition strategy. Some of the most common marketing tools include:

  • Organic search: This relates to using search engine optimisation (SEO) to create content that attracts a specific or high audience number.
  • Paid search: This uses revenue-based methods to promote adverts or brand awareness on search engines.
  • Organic social media: This involves creating a digital brand identity on social media platforms without spending any money.
  • Paid social media: This uses financial-based methods to attain new customers or build brand awareness.
  • Email: This method shares or promotes business-related information directly to customers.
  • Referrals: This involves customers being given rewards (like incentives or gift cards) after introducing new people to the business.
  • Events: This method utilises seminars, conferences, and trade shows to present a product, service, or overall business.
  • Traditional advertisement: This involves using media platforms (like TV, radio, or print) to advertise a business.

What are examples of different types of customer acquisition strategies?

When it comes to using customer acquisition strategies, you should choose ones that work for you. This could be a singular one; or a multitude of them. Ultimately, it’s all about utilising the ones that work best for your business.

Let’s look at customer acquisition strategies examples to use in your business:

Search engine optimisation (marketing tool: organic search)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about finding ways to place your brand name at the top of search engines. SEO methods help customers search for a product or service online and decide which one to choose between relevant competitors.

To rank at the top of searches, businesses need to optimise their website. This is done by using SEO-related methods on their webpages. Keywords, headings, alt-text, and even SERPs encourage customers to click on their content – making it a strong marketing tool to promote customer acquisition.

Content marketing (marketing tool: organic search)

For most businesses, customer marketing is often used for its versatility. Whether you’re creating a new campaign or revamping an ongoing one, content marketing helps capture your customers’ attention – converting their views into pounds.

As mentioned, the type of content you create will always vary. That’s because it depends on what type of message you want to portray to acquire customers. Whether it’s a blog or a short video, each piece of content you create or promote should be perfectly relatable to your specific audience.

Blogging (marketing tool: organic search)

Many businesses will have a dedicated blog page on their website, filled with all kinds of written content. From ‘how-to’ guides to opinion pieces, blogs allow employers to portray their take on issues relating to their industry.

Blogs allow employers to develop a level of authority with their customers. They’ll read about a topic relevant to them and respect the legitimacy of the business. Most blog sites even let customers write comments or reviews – creating an open and trusting relationship between them.

Social media marketing (marketing tool: organic social media/ paid social media)

This strategy involves using social media platforms to direct customers towards a business. Generally, two ways to do this are through paid channels or going completely organic.

Social media marketing is a great way to advertise your brand name or share content from other digital platforms. And if it’s organic, you won’t need to invest a lot of money.

With social media marketing, the more you post, the higher your chances of attracting customers. Let’s all pray for that ‘viral’ moment which can really help boost your brand name.

Video marketing (marketing tool: paid search/ organic social media/ paid social media)

From TikTok to YouTube shorts, there’s no denying that video-based content is prominent in today’s world. With easy access to cheaper yet quality filming equipment, video production  has quickly become a marketing norm.

Despite that, videos still need to be relatable and accessible. As shorter videos are consumed more, you need to portray your message as efficiently as you can in those 10 seconds.

For longer videos, you may need to think about wider production aspects. Lighting, scriptwriting, editing – when these are done right, you’ll soon be able to manifest an invested and happy audience.

Email retargeting (marketing tool: email)

Emailing might seem like a long-winded (or even outdated) marketing scheme to some. But, don’t underestimate its true potential. Emailing is especially useful when it comes to tracking customer listings, interactions, and behaviour.

For example, new customers can receive emails on information about products your business sells. This will then optimise their chances of making future purchases with you. Or you can use emails to send birthday vouchers – which again, makes them buy more!

Emails can also help highlight problems, particularly when customers unsubscribe from mailing lists. Here, businesses should be thinking about ongoing issues and finding ways to amend their marketing strategy.

Sponsored content (marketing tool: paid search/ paid social media/ traditional advertising)

This strategy is all about linking paid adverts (on SERPs) to content posts (on social media platforms). In simple terms, businesses use ‘famous’ people to help advertise their products.

Sponsored ads generally have someone on board willing to help advertise your business. They’ll be able to share your brand name with their audience – helping you generate more leads and conversions.

It doesn’t really matter what type of social media platform is used, so long as the advert message is presented well. Businesses will often use ad campaigns, like sponsored search results, paid blog posts, and product mentions (or ‘shout-outs’).

Customer ambassadors (marketing tool: referrals)

Customer ambassadors are loyal consumers who offer to help promote your products or services. They can choose to voluntarily do this, or ask for a type of fee in return (i.e., like payment, creative freedom, etc.).

Employers gain free advertising, as the ambassadors help raise awareness for your brand. This saves you time and money, as they’ll do all the hard work for you!

Ambassadors may write an in-depth blog about your product, or speak about it on their social media platforms. It’s always best to reward ambassadors for their assistance. A couple of gift cards or even some free merchandise is never received badly.

Gated content (marketing tool: all)

Gated content is a marketing term used for things like guides, templates, eBooks, etc. Whilst they may not be the most cutting-edge or exciting content, they’re often crucial in certain situations.

The term ‘gated’ means only certain customers, who have given permission, can access the content. For example, they may have provided personal information, like an email address.

Gated content uses all types of strategies – from SEO to content marketing tools. The main element that makes it work is being unsearchable online. Only customers who show a good level of investment will be able to access the goods – boosting business retention and loyalty.

Product pricing (marketing tool: all)

Product pricing is a super versatile customer acquisition strategy. It attracts customers based on your position in a shared marketplace. If your numbers are attractive enough, customers will flock towards you instead of your competitors.

But, it’s not just about the price of your products or services. Customer acquisition is built from offering incentives, discounts, and promotional pricing. For example, a ‘buy one, get one free’ strategy can help grow retention and revenue.

It’s always best to utilise strategies that work for your business. This will help you understand your target audience better and improve your overall marketing procedures.

Get further help on customer acquisition strategies with love2shop

Whatever your business is, you can’t function without the steady influx of customers. And this doesn’t just mean gaining new ones; it also means investing in your loyal ones.

A great way to strengthen your customer acquisition strategies is through using gift cards and vouchers. At Love2shop, we offer a variety of rewards guaranteed to help boost your retention rates.

Whether you’re enticing new leads or rewarding loyal customers, Love2Shop has the perfect gift card for you.

importance of employee wellbeing

What is Employee Wellbeing and Why is it Important?

Every employer has a moral duty of ensuring their staff work within secure conditions. That doesn’t just mean complying with relevant health and safety laws. It also extends to covering your employees’ wellbeing.

Good wellbeing is found to have direct links to higher work productivity, job satisfaction, and personal welfare. But it’s not just a great benefit for the workforce. Maintaining a good level of wellbeing at work is proven to increase your overall business success.

Let’s take a look at what employee wellbeing exactly means, why it’s important, and how to encourage it within professional and personal capacities.

What is employee wellbeing?

Employee wellbeing is considered to be one of the most crucial aspects of workplace health and safety. It’s all about being on top of your staff’s welfare during work – as much as reasonably possible.

There are several factors to take into account when dealing with wellbeing for employees. It may include physical being, mental health, financial status, or even their social state.

Whilst some of these may not be work-related, employees could continue to suffer from their issues during work hours. For example, they could be facing problems paying their rent, getting medication, or even going through bereavement.

For employers, you aren’t expected to heal or resolve their issue. This isn’t considered to be part of your legal duty for your staff. However, you do have a moral duty to provide support and aid were reasonably possible.

A quick conversation or referral could help fix the problem for good. In the end, you end up with happier, healthier, motivated, and loyal employees.

Why is employee health and wellbeing important?

Understandably, some employers will believe wellbeing isn’t part of their responsibility. However, an unhappy workforce may lead to business problems that you’re unaware of or hadn’t foreseen.

Employees are more likely to take more sick leave or unauthorised absences. This decreases the total amount of production hours; and places an additional burden on other workers covering work duties.

When an employee is suffering from poor wellbeing, they’re also likely to feel unsupported and unmotivated at work. Employers may be forced to dish out disciplinary actions, like hearings, demotions, or even dismissals.

In the end, it’s always better to aim to promote a healthier and happier workplace. This can include making sure employees are fit enough to work, all the way to supporting those with medical issues.

As mentioned, it’s not about relieving them of their issue completely. It’s about helping them get through it whilst balancing their professional and personal lives. And it all comes from promoting positive wellbeing in the workplace.

How to improve employee wellbeing in your workplace

When it comes to business success, your staff play an important part. That’s why many companies invest time, money, and effort into employee welfare. After all, a happy workforce leads to a healthy bottom-line.

Don’t be distracted into thinking wellbeing is another marketing or HR gimmick. A workplace culture that promotes positive wellbeing will ultimately lead to higher productivity, loyalty, and overall business success.

Let’s take a look at ways to boost employee wellbeing in your workplace:

Create a wellbeing policy

The first step employers should take is create a wellbeing policy and make it available to staff members. The policy should outline what wellbeing means, why it’s important, and how to ensure it stays protected during work hours.

Along with the policy, it’s also a great idea to present a workplace culture that vocalises positive wellbeing. That doesn’t mean holding meetings on eating healthy or cutting down on smoking. It also includes things like tending to personal mental health or treating others respectfully.

Employers should also highlight the importance of good wellbeing at pre-recruitment. This includes referring to it in job specs, interviews, and even during onboarding stages. That way, employees are made fully aware – respecting their own wellbeing state, as well as that of others.

Highlight the importance of mental health

From work-related stress to suicidal tendencies, mental health covers all kinds of diagnoses. Many people suffer alone – without medical or personal support. Positive wellbeing helps employees prioritise their own mental health; over other people, places, and even duties.

Employers aren’t expected to heal people with mental health problems. However, you must ensure your workplace doesn’t exacerbate a person’s health condition further (through triggers, negligence, or even discrimination).

Many businesses offer things like mental health prevention support, personal counselling, medical referrals, and even resilience training. It’s also important to eradicate any taboo or stigma surrounding mental health. Normalise and help those suffering in silence.

Promote a healthy work-life balance

It’s so important not to dismiss the importance of a healthy work-life balance. When it’s done right, it flourishes positive employee wellbeing all around.

Employers have a legal and moral duty to create an environment that encourages a healthy balance. This may include ensuring employees take efficient time off, working in safe conditions, and avoiding presenteeism (overworking whilst being ill).

Remember, employers should lead by example and not let others pick up bad work habits. Meaning, you should avoid working extra long hours, neglecting breaks, or working to the point of ill-health (including both physical and mental).

Encourage open communication and support

The only way to know if an employee is suffering from poor wellbeing is through talking about it. Employers should encourage open communication and support for those who need it.

Often, employees may be unable to work well due to personal wellbeing issues. For example, having trouble paying bills or dealing with an ongoing medical condition. Whatever the case, be sure to provide professional, confidential help as soon as possible.

With the recent rise in hybrid working, it’s also important not to neglect open communication with those working remotely or in isolation. Ensure they’re being supported just like any ‘office-based’ colleague – regardless of their working hours, location, or position.

Benefits of Employee Wellbeing

There are a multitude of benefits for implementing employee wellbeing policies in the workplace. These include:

  • Improved employee engagement
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced turnover
  • Improved mental and physical health
  • Enhanced creativity and innovation
  • Stronger company culture
  • Increased profitability

What is an example of an employee wellbeing strategy?

There are countless strategies businesses can use when it comes to improving employee wellbeing. Some are free of charge; whilst others can be sought at reasonable prices.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Health: Like, gym memberships, sports classes, and fitness sessions.
  • Medical: Like, GP appointments, therapy sessions, or health professional referrals.
  • Career development: Like, shadowing, mentoring, or training sessions.
  • Social: Like after-work gatherings, team-building days, and lifestyle events.
  • Financial: Like, rent support, loan advice, and money vouchers.

Improve your employee wellbeing with Love2shop

Every business should nurture the benefits of employee wellbeing. Not only does it make employees feel valued and respected, it also directly leads to higher work efficiency and loyalty.

Why not help encourage it further by offering gift cards and vouchers? At Love2shop, we offer a variety of rewards guaranteed to help improve your employee wellbeing rates.

However, you plan to encourage employee wellbeing, Love2shop has the perfect gift card for you.

2024 will bring uncertainty – investing in loyalty will be key to growth

We are heading into the Year of Loyalty, where businesses that invest in their employees and customers will give themselves a platform for success.

Predicting what 2024 will bring is challenging – with the prospect of a General Election and the constantly shifting sands of economic policy have created a much more uncertain future.

Last year, we knew everyone was in for a rough ride and so it proved, with businesses and employees wrestling with rising costs and interest rates. But while 2024 may not be as clearly-defined, what is certain is that loyalty will be the most influential driver.

The experience of the last 12 months – and in some ways the last three years – has created in consumers and workers a greater sense of their own value – to themselves, the places they work and the businesses and services they use.

The businesses that succeed in 2024 will be the ones that recognise how to build and maintain loyalty in a more meaningful way.

Out with the old – sales and loyalty are changing

From a consumer standpoint, traditional loyalty programmes no longer have the influence they once did. Already we have seen the biggest supermarkets adjust their loyalty programmes so that rather than focusing on accumulating points, members get instant discounts at the checkout instead.

Price remains a strong influence, but that is falling. According to data from customer experience managers Qualtrics, 61% of consumers base their loyalty to a brand on the quality of the service or product and 47% on the customer service support. Only 43% base it on low prices. So the impact of sales – with the possible exception of Black Friday – is diminishing in customers’ eyes.

These significant shifts in consumer behaviour will filter through to all businesses in 2024. Consumers post-Covid have an increasing need to feel looked out for and protected from the unexpected.

Businesses that can offer wraparound care with tangible benefits – service packages for major expenses for example – will see real growth in 2024. But those packages need to offer real value at the right price. Never have consumers been more aware of what they are actually getting when they sign up for value-added services.

Make it too complex, too expensive or pay lip-service to the problem you’re claiming to protect them against and it could be very damaging to your business.

Retention is still king for employers

We’ve seen a lot of recent articles preaching retention for 2024 and we agree, retention is vital. We actually had this as a key point for 2023 and the message has not changed.

Recruitment remains challenging for business, with significant numbers of unfilled vacancies across the economy.

Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show almost a million unfilled vacancies in the UK right now. So it’s obvious that retaining employees is vital to growth.

Love2shop’s own Employee Value Report, published in September, told us that despite this need to retain staff, 4.4 million UK workers are considering leaving their job as they feel undervalued, with 1.5 million ready to leave without a new role to go to.

When asked why, 41% said they felt their contribution to the business was not acknowledged, 32% cited poor pay and benefits and 29% believed that loyalty is a one-way street and they did not matter to their employer.

That indicates serious disillusionment with employers – and that could become a crisis in 2024.

What’s frustrating is that the UK workforce is not asking employers for a lot. We also found that 90% would feel more valued by receiving a spontaneous gift card at work but 47% said their employer never gifts them anything.

Small regular shows of appreciation beyond the pay packet in 2024 are the key to employee retention. Employee discount schemes can be one solution, but many are complex and not valued by employees.

Consider offering employees discounts they can apply instantly. Everyday Benefits from Love2shop for example is a card employees pre-load funds onto at a 7.5% discount. So for example, if they load £100 on, they only pay £92.50. They then have £100 on the card to spend at more than 140 partner retailers.

Businesses that get it right will be in a strong position when the economy begins to truly grow again.

AI will find its place

This year AI has been the buzzword in business and that is unlikely to stop. However, we believe it will settle down and find its place in the ecosystem in 2024.

The rapid explosion of artificial intelligence in 2023 made it seem a bit like the Wild West, with even Google struggling to keep up!

But 2024 will see more businesses employ AI strategically. Used as a support tool to improve customer experience alongside human interaction it can help businesses manage more enquiries and ease some of the teething troubles growing businesses sometimes have with fulfilment.

According to global research firm Forrester, AI will be used more surgically, particularly by digital businesses, to support customer service delivery, however it also predicts that 40% of buyers aged 25-44 will rate person-to-person interactions as their most meaningful – so if customer loyalty is your goal, invest in people.

Spreading API-ness

APIs are nothing new, but we will see them deployed more by businesses to enhance their user experience.

Businesses working with partners to deliver key employee benefits or customer rewards will move away from engineering their own in-house solutions and instead will expect suppliers to provide seamless APIs that help them to deliver global-quality brand engagement and user experience within their budget.

Critically, the most important investments businesses will make in 2024 will be around experience – the workplace experience, the customer experience, the online experience.

Integrating Love2shop into your reward and recognition systems is a great way to enhance those experiences – opening up a mammoth catalogue of brands for recipients to spend with.

You can find details of how our API integration offers safe, secure real-time integration here: https://business.love2shop.co.uk/api-for-gift-cards.

Whatever happens 2024 will be a year of significant change for business. Attitudes and behaviours may be shifting but by using new insights to focus on what’s really important businesses will thrive.

The primary focus, as ever is on quality of products and services. But invest in your workforce and your customers. Create an eco-system around your brand that people want to engage with and be a part of.

That will make your business resilient, agile and ensure you’re ready to grow whatever surprises 2024 has in store.

The King of Workplace Christmas Gifts – a handy guide

Christmas may be a time of peace and goodwill to all… but it can also be a period of stress that drives us up the wall.

Finding the right gifts for family and friends can be challenging enough but employers up and down the land face the same dilemma… what’s the best way to show appreciation for their staff at Christmas?

More to the point, if you are going to offer a gift to members of your team, should it be cash, a gift or something else?

Fortunately, Love2shop are the experts in workplace gifting and employee engagement, so we’ve got the lowdown on the pros and cons of every gift type to help you choose what’s right for your workforce.

What you give – and how you give it – is important. Why? Well, according to the Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023, 57% of UK workers – that’s 17.2m people – say their productivity increases when they feel valued.

It also found almost 90% of UK workers said if they were surprised by their employer with a multi-retailer gift card they would feel more valued, while more than 87% said spontaneous gifts from their employer gave them a feeling of value and recognition.

So, gifting your employees is unquestionably beneficial to your productivity and output. But how do you choose the right gift. Here’s our handy guide:


Pros: Giving people cash, usually through payroll, is simple and straightforward and requires little thought or planning. Keeping it simple in a complicated world can be appreciated.

Cons: Every penny you give is subject to tax and National Insurance, which will either make it a lot more expensive per head for your business or eat into the amount your employees receive.

It also lacks thought and imagination. It’s a gift given as a process, another line on the payslip. It can feel cold and transactional and any warmth it creates disappears as soon as it is spent.

Gift cards

Pros: In an age when we are used to paying for things with a swipe of a debit or credit card, a gift card is a convenient, portable and way to make gifting easy. Balances can be viewed online and digital e-gift cards can even be added to digital wallets to scan via smartphones.

Multi-retailer gift cards give the gift of choice so they can make their gift mean more and some brands offer personalisation options to add to the overall gift.

Cons: It’s important to maximise the presentation. Just handing over the card can make it feel like an afterthought. Also watch out for brands that reduce the value of cards on a monthly basis with ‘admin fees’. Find a gift card provider that will not give your employees any nasty surprises.

Physical gifts

Pros: Giving just the right gift to someone is very powerful. Showing you know someone and care about their interests and what they love shows an exceptional level of appreciation and is a significant motivator for people.

Cons: It can be hard enough to pick the right gift for a family member or close friend. Choosing the right gift for a colleague opens up a whole world of stress, especially if you are buying for multiple team members. It’s hard to really know people, especially as people tend to code-switch between the workplace and home. Getting it wrong can be just as powerful or memorable as getting it right.

And if you opt for the job lot of hampers, chocolates or bottles of wine, you might as well not bother, as that’s the impression they will get. Unless you’ve spent a lot, chances are they will use most of it as gifts for people they don’t really like.


Pros: In a digital age vouchers are less popular than they once were. However, people the more mature members of your workforce may prefer them because they are familiar. Multi-retailer vouchers offer the flexibility of cash but have the more tangible feel of a thoughtful gift. They are easily redeemable and universally understood.

Cons: While older members of staff may love a paper voucher, younger ones may prefer a gift card that more easily fits in their purse or wallet, or even their phone case. They can also become easily damaged.

Gifting your employees is always a great idea, whichever type of gift you choose. With Christmas fast approaching, hopefully you are already sorted, but if not take a look at our Christmas reward options here.

Alternatively, contact our team here today to discuss how you can get your Love2shop gifts delivered in time for Christmas 2023.

Tips from the uninspirational boss

What’s better than a boss? That’s right, a cool boss who wants to be your mate or thinks they’re some sort of productivity guru.

Love2shop is proud of our expertise in employee engagement – but we are always on the lookout for mavericks with an alternative view of business.  We managed to find one of these big beasts of industry in the wild and sat him down to see what pearls of wisdom he could offer heading into 2024.

We thought he looked familiar – although we’ve spent so long in The Office it’s hard to know whether it’s just our minds playing tricks on us.

Never mind, here are the top five tips this uninspirational ‘legend of business’ had to offer:

1: Nothing drives people like a bit of fear. If you want a technique that’ll leave your team literally terrified, try the almighty “Envelope” technique.

2: Have you created an atmosphere at work where you’re a friend first, a boss second, and probably an entertainer third? Then go and get the guitar.

3: When it comes to management styles, you don’t always have to play by “the rules”. Take public appraisals for instance. Some staff love them. (Editors note: most do not)


4: This Christmas, tell your team that they will never work in a place like yours again. Fact. And they’ll never have another boss like you. Someone who’s basically a chilled-out entertainer. The signed photo might be a step too far though.

5: You might be chasing the bunce this Christmas (bunsen burner, nice little earner), but younger team members probably won’t be. Try motivational books. Avocados even.

Wow, so there you go. We have to say, as advice goes, that is pretty terrible. Rather than give yourself a major recruitment headache to start the year, why not simply Pass on the Love with Love2shop?

Our range of Love2shop Gift Cards, e-Gift Cards and vouchers are perfect for incentives, performance bonuses and gifts for your workforce. Whether it’s a thank you for being great or a ‘you smashed it’ for going above and beyond their targets, Love2shop incentives help you show your team that what they do really matters.

Make it special – presentation is key for workplace Christmas gifting

There’s an icy nip in the air and the constant sound of sleigh bells and children’s choirs on the high street – the festive season is now well and truly upon us.

Christmas, of course, is all about peace, goodwill and spreading cheer and employers – or their HR departments – up and down the land are now planning how they can deliver Christmas gifts that make their employees feel truly valued.

Offering members of your team a gift to say thank you for their hard work during the year is a simple and effective way of boosting morale. Get it right and your gift can help illuminate those dark and miserable mornings through January to get your year off to a great start.

But get it wrong and it could have the opposite effect. And we’re not just talking about what you give (or don’t). How you give it is just as important.

You only get what you give

According to corporate rewards and loyalty specialist, Love2shop, an increasing number of employers are offering gift cards or e-gift cards to their employees at Christmas. They can offer a Love2shop gift card, accepted by around 150 retailers, up to the value of £50 tax-free.

The Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023 revealed that for 90% of UK employees a surprise gift of a multi-retailer gift card would make them feel more valued while 57% said multi-retailer gift cards made the best rewards.

Presented in the right way, gift cards are actually a really great way for a business to give back at Christmas. Everyone is struggling with the increased cost of living and a multi-retailer gift card like Love2shop can make a real difference to people’s ability to spend and enjoy the holidays.

But just dropping them on people’s desks or sending our digital codes on email or SMS without a by-your-leave is a recipe for trouble. It can make a genuine, meaningful gift feel like an afterthought and could have a negative impact on morale and performance.

So how can you present your team with their gifts to show you’ve really thought about them?

Keep it real

We don’t think you should be hiring smoke machines, glitter cannons and streamers (but hey, you do you).

You need to be authentic, s if that’s not your usual way, don’t force it. Christmas means different things to different people. Also, in these cash-conscious times, nobody wants to think that you’ve spent more on the presentation than on the gift itself.

Keep things tasteful, perhaps decorate the kitchen or board room and call a team meeting to give everyone their gifts. Get some mince pies or festive chocolates and make a little bit of fuss over the team as a group as you thank them for their work and present each of them with their gift.

For larger teams, you could arrange meetings at each site or, if that’s not practical, even gather groups remotely on conference call to publicly thank everyone, highlight some key achievements and let them know that their gifts are on their way.

Never too late

Christmas may be fast approaching but there is still time to put some thought and planning into the presentation to avoid the last minute panic on December 20.

Don’t get hung up on presenting the reward in person. Working environments have changed significantly over the past few years. Flexible and home working, client visits and conference calls all reduce the time that people physically spend at their desks.

We are all now so much more comfortable with technology. An e-code sent out with a warm festive message is simple but can make a lovely surprise and it’s easy to include within a personalised festive message for the recipient.

What we give is more important than ever, as people try to manage their budgets and would rather have something to spend instead of a novelty item or office party.

But how we give it affects how our team feel. Make it more personal and authentic and you will amplify the positive impact

Take a look at our Christmas reward options here. Alternatively, contact our team here today to discuss how you can get your Love2shop gifts delivered in time for Christmas 2023.

Christmas – a time to make your staff feel appreciated

The festive season is in full swing with joy all around – but it’s also a time reflect on a difficult year for both businesses and individuals.

Looking back, 2023 was a year of soaring inflation and eye-watering energy bills. As well as juggling precarious personal finances, your staff have worked hard to help keep your business moving forward during these tough times. What impact would a little bit of extra recognition have?

For people working in sectors such as retail, the festive season offers no end-of-year wind-down. They are in the maelstrom of the busiest period of their year, doing some of their most important work.

But for those in other business sectors there may be a drop-off in work intensity. This offers the perfect opportunity to allow your team to breathe and ‘take a moment’, to step back and appreciate how much they have achieved. They’ve earned it.

Family fun and time to recharge

No doubt arrangements for Christmas parties and nights out are already in the pipeline. But there are more meaningful ways you, as an employer, can show your staff how much you value them in the next few weeks.

Parents for example, will be feeling their own festive pressures. Whether it’s Christmas shopping or finding time to attend the Christmas fairs, nativity plays and concerts that always seem to be scheduled during the school day.

All too often mums, dads or guardians have to use their annual leave to attend such events. Maybe this year you can let them take half a day on you, as a thank-you.

Increasingly some businesses are even implementing Christmas shut-downs. This gives everyone a little more time off, particularly between Christmas and New Year when there may be no need for the whole team to come in. And if work tails off in the run up to Christmas why not let people go home an hour or two early?

A time for giving

Of course, whether you colleagues are buying for their family or trying to enjoy the festive party season, the rising cost of living has hit everyone hard this year. A nice way to show people their efforts in 2023 meant something that makes life easier – like a Love2shop Gift Card.

The corporate gifting experts at Love2shop have just published their Employee Value Report 2023. It highlights the risks of letting your employees believe you don’t appreciate their efforts, but also the value of getting gifting and rewarding right – to both your work environment and your bottom line.

It revealed just over 5.5m workers – around 18% – said they don’t feel valued at work. Of those disaffected workers, almost 1.5m are willing to leave their job as soon as possible, without a new role lined up.

But those surveyed also told Love2shop how employers can get it right. Additional days off, flexible or hybrid working and spontaneous gift cards as a little pick-me-up are the top three ways employees say bosses can improve their happiness.

And for a relatively low cost, you can show your appreciation with Love2shop Gift Cards, e-Gift Cards and vouchers. These are quick to deliver and can be tax efficient.

HMRC offers a Trivial Benefits allowance. This allows an employer to give non-cash gifts up to the value of £50. They can be given in the form of a £50 Love2shop gift card or e-gift card. The beauty of these gifts is that they are tax-free and require no additional paperwork.

You can find out more about how to give gifts tax-free using Love2shop’s free Tax-Free Gift Calculator tool here.

Love2shop is one of the best known gifting brands in the UK and is accepted by around 150 retailers. These include well-known brands such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester, Tui, Jet2Holidays and many, many more.

There are big risks to allowing your staff to feel their efforts are not recognised or appreciated. Fixing it is easy. With just a little bit of thought and effort you can create a warm glow around your team this Christmas that will last well into the New Year.

Contact our team here today to discuss how you can get your Love2shop gifts delivered in time for Christmas 2023 or visit our self-serve portal and get started yourself here.

How a ‘trivial’ gift can be a big deal for your employees

Christmas is approaching fast and many business owners are weighing up how to show their employees appreciation during the festive season.

Traditionally, companies have offered a Christmas bonus or gift. While always welcome, cash gifts made through payroll are subject to tax and National Insurance. This can make them a costly headache for either the employer or the employee.

For an employee, if tax and NI are not factored in the tax man takes their cut and the gift becomes a lot smaller.

On the other hand, if an employer wants workers to receive a specific amount, they will have to cover the tax and NI on top. This could almost double the cost.

A better way

There is a third way to gift employees however – which is both straightforward and cost-effective.

Corporate gifting experts Love2shop have been helping employers of all types and sizes to offer rewards for their staff for decades. Now they have launched a handy tool that helps employers see the savings on offer by switching to gift cards.

The Tax-Free Gift Calculator allows employers or HR teams to input the amount they want each employee to receive as a gift after tax.

It will calculate how much they will pay in real terms – including tax and National Insurance – for both basic rate taxpayers and higher-rate taxpayers. Alongside this it will show how much the same gift would cost if given in Love2shop gift cards.

The tool is free and you can try it here.

According to the second annual Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023, 90% of UK employees said a surprise gift of a multi-retailer gift card would make them feel more valued.

And 57% of people said days off, multi-retailer gift cards or flexible working are the best workplace rewards.

Now, HMRC may have a reputation of being a little Scrooge-like, but they have a key allowance that can help employers give generously to their employees – the Trivial Benefits Provision.

This allows employers to offer staff non-cash gifts up to the value of £50 per employee, free from tax or National Insurance.

That means if an employer wants to gift up to £50, they can do so using Love2shop Gift Cards, Contactless Gift Cards, E-Gift Cards or vouchers. No tax, no National Insurance and no paperwork.

A time for giving

In other words, giving each employee £50 with Love2shop will cost the business just £50 per person – and the recipient will get the full amount.

Love2shop is one of the best known gifting brands in the UK. Available as a gift card, e-gift card, contactless gift card or voucher, its products are accepted by around 150 retailers.

These include well-known brands such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester,Tui, Jet2Holidays and many more.

That flexibility means that employers can be certain their gift is what everyone wants, as it really is the gift of choice. It may be called ‘trivial’ but it’s a benefit that will prove anything but for both employers and employees.

Contact our team today to discuss how Love2shop can help you get gifting right this Christmas, with physical gift cards and digital codes still available for pre-Christmas delivery.

Work Christmas Do? We’d rather have work Christmas dosh!

The traditional work Christmas party could be dead following new research revealing that the majority of UK workers would prefer a festive financial bonus over a staff Christmas party.

Awkward small talk (45%) and annoying drunk co-workers were cited as two of the most-hated things about seasonal celebrations with colleagues, according to research by Love2shop.

83% would choose a Christmas bonus or gift over a staff party, with over half (56%) not bothered about having a work celebration at all and almost a quarter (24%) saying they don’t like socialising with colleagues outside of work.

Workers say a £110 payment would be a sufficient alternative to a Yuletide soiree, according to the study, with 92% saying they would at least like to be given a choice between the two.

Around one in five workers (19%) want to receive this bonus in the form of a gift card or voucher, the data shows.

Surprisingly, the poll of 2,000 Brits revealed the average worker is forced to contribute £33 to fund their staff Christmas party to finance costs such as food, drink and decorations.

Just one in 20 Brits (5%) are lucky enough to get both a Christmas party and a financial bonus at Christmas.

Exactly half of UK workers (50%) generally do Secret Santa with their colleagues, with the average expenditure on a present amounting to £14.

Younger people aged 18-24 spend more than double the amount on their present than older co-workers, splashing an average of £23 compared to £9 for those aged 55-64.

According to the study, Secret Santa is particularly disliked in Scotland, with just one in twenty Scots (5%) saying they enjoy participating – the lowest number in the UK.

Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at leading gifting and engagement experts Love2shop, said that the research findings were a clear indication that festive financial rewards are exponentially increasing in popularity.

He said: “Everybody has experienced a rise in their cost of living since the pandemic, so it’s hardly a surprise to see the work Christmas party become less and less of a priority as people struggle to make ends meet during the festive period.

“This should be a wake-up call for UK business owners to start listening to what their employees want – and that’s a financial bonus. The money that would otherwise go on a seasonal celebration could be better spent going straight into the pocket of employees.

“While the benefits of a cash injection in December are evident, employers should also note the knock-on effect it can have on their workforce, increasing morale and retention rates in the long run.”

You can explore Love2shop’s gift card range at https://business.love2shop.co.uk/