The rise of the ‘crowdgifting’ phenomenon

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  • Innovative gift-giving for memorable life-stage milestones

Clubbing together to get a perfect gift for an anniversary, birthday or special occasion is hardly a new challenge; what is new is that tech-savvy South Africans can now use an innovative digital platform to set up or participate in ‘crowdgifting’ solutions for family and friends’ memorable life-stage milestones.

ChipIn – which is one of Brand Hubb Group’s (BHG) growing list of e-commerce properties – is among the easiest-to-use and most cost-effective gifting services available to local consumers today; and is making waves by changing how South Africans buy and give gifts. Initially launched under the BHG umbrella, the concept has matured to trade on its own merits. “We spent the last two years incubating and refining the business to deliver on its full promise and can today unveil a standalone online platform that offers a credible solution and unique user experience,” says Rob Anderson, CEO of BHG.

In the past, finding the perfect gift would involve spending countless hours trawling through stores, in the real world or online until the exhausted gift-giver capitulated by purchasing anything that relieved them of their gifting obligation. Nowadays, choosing an impactful gift is as simple as logging into the ChipIn platform and buying or contributing to a gift that has been pre-selected by the giftee, or recipient of a gift. The experience ensures that users ‘get that feeling’ associated with choosing and gifting a desired, meaningful item.

Back in the day, the giftee had a hard time too. Time and again they were forced to feign enjoyment or surprise at receiving an impractical or unwanted gift. This changes thanks to ChipIn, which empowers the giftee, or the person organising an event on his or her behalf, to register online and set up a wish list of suitable items. “You can think of ChipIn as a virtual store, pre-stocked with the goods that the giftee really wants,” says Anderson. “Each gift-giver is able to select and pay for an item on a pre-populated wish list or make a cash contribution towards it”. And thus, gift-givers ensure that giftees also ‘get that feeling’ of receiving the perfect gift.

ChipIn was conceptualised to smooth over the pain points that consumers experience when searching for the perfect gift for family or friends’ memorable life-stage milestones. It also allows the giftee to ask for items that he or she would really like without coming across as demanding or ungrateful. The solution converts the traditional gift registry concept into a full, seamless online solution that lends itself to all types of occasions, with exceptional potential to disrupt the traditional gift registry market for baby showers and weddings, as well as facilitating ‘crowdgifting’ for donations and sponsorships.

For example, proud ‘parents to be’ can create a list of items they would like to receive at their baby shower, and then share this list with family and friends via the ChipIn platform. Anyone who receives the list can contribute by purchasing an item or contributing part of the ticket price on that item. The platform functions seamlessly in the background to make sure that the gift list is actioned on time, with gifts delivered to the giftee’s door.

“The ChipIn platform is particularly useful for gift registry applications such as baby showers, weddings and birthdays, where it used to be almost impossible for guests to independently choose appropriate and/or unique gifts,” says Anderson. It is also a great enabler for family and friends to club together towards big ticket gifts for special occasions such as a couple’s 50th wedding anniversary. ChipIn bridges the gap of family and friends living abroad having to try to find local gift suppliers, as well as offering a sponsorship or donation application, which is particularly valuable in times of disaster relief, stokvels or even assisting someone in need to receive an item which could make a huge impact on their lives (e.g., a bicycle, a computer or appliances to set up a home.)

ChipIn is an online solution that unites the gift-giver and gift-receiver around the common goal of a perfect gifting experience. It makes the gift-giver’s life simpler by removing the need to shop in the physical world and strips out the uncertainty of scanning thousands of pages of goods online by providing a list of gifts, pre-approved by the receiver.

“We believe this solution will restore the art of gifting by addressing the pain points involved in buying and exchanging gifts in the traditional way,” concludes Anderson. “Our online platform allows gift-giver and giftee to exist on the same plane and ‘get that feeling’ that goes hand-in-hand with gifting or receiving the perfect gift”. Now you can do gifting right with ChipIn.