Virtual & Digital Gifts That Impress: Guide To Choosing Memorable Presents

Intrigued as to whether virtual gifts or digital gifts will become the next big thing when it comes to presents for your friends, employees or family? While the word ‘present’ might make you think of a large box with a bow, the world has changed rapidly. Sustainability concerns, remote working and living so far from our friends and family have all made virtual gifts rise in popularity. 

What are virtual gifts? 

While a normal gift is a physical item you have to wrap or give in a card, a virtual gift is delivered online. It could come to their mobile, email, be delivered into an existing app or subscription, or could be a ‘top up’ of a balance. Not only that, the gift itself could be completed online. Instead of a cookery class in a restaurant, it could be a cookery class hosted on a video platform you do remotely. Instead of a day out car racing, it could be tickets to a VR race track. It might be a charitable donation, points you can use with a company, or a virtual gift card giving you access to a ‘virtual’ high street. 

If you’re ready for the convenience and instant benefits of virtual rewards, let us help you pick the best treats. 

Man looking happy on video call.

Virtual Gifts For Friends

For many of us, living close to friends was something we grew out of when we left school.

With an ONS study showing that more than 3 in 10 in the UK had Level 4 or above qualification, such as an HND, Bachelor’s degree or Postgraduate qualification; 33.4% of us will be focusing on education at a higher level, which for many of us means a move into a new location and away from the areas we grew up in. 

While new friends are soon made, it can be tricky to stay in touch after education and the time to start earning. Throw marriages, babies, the ups and downs of life into the mix and we are maintaining virtual friendships.  

According to a survey conducted among adults in the United States in May 2021, 12 percent of respondents said they had no close friends, and the friends they do have are online.  One in 10 people have either met their best friend online or believes they will meet good friends on the web.

For our new virtual world, it makes sense that we need virtual gifts for friends. Whether we can’t be there in person, or we have never met in person, digital gifts offer a chance to connect. 

Some examples of virtual gifts for friends include digital gifts, digital experiences and virtual gift cards.

Virtual gift cards are just what they sound like, digital tokens or values to retailers that they can spend in the real world or indeed in virtual worlds. They might be for a subscription service that they love or would like to try, meal delivery services, or for hobbies such as a book retailer or toy store. 

But the virtual world does not limit itself to gift cards! You can give the gift of virtual private lessons and experiences. From a curry workshop, chocolate making, exploring arts and crafts together or even signing up for a virtual workout like the ones at the Pineapple Dance Studio, there are so many options to give a virtual gift to a friend.  You can even set up a group collection, like a Collection Pot and both put money towards an event, an experience or a holiday. 

Top 5 Unique Virtual Gift Ideas for a Friend

Man and woman recording themselves cooking.

Virtual Gifts For Clients

Think that virtual gift ideas for clients will never fly for your boss? We ask you to reconsider, especially if you’ve never had to try and hunt down an address to send a physical gift!  It is very common for clients to no longer work from an office, and that means sending a treat to encourage them to do business with you, or as a thank you for doing so is peppered with difficulty.

Send to a registered office and it may be returned, or the item may not make it to the intended recipient. It can also spoil a surprise to ask for their personal address, and some may not be comfortable giving this to a supplier. They may refuse to accept your gift out of politeness, which leaves you no further ahead! Virtual gifts for clients have a lot of impact because they can be sent discreetly instantly, and to the details you already hold, such as an email or a phone number. 

What are the best virtual gifts for clients? In our opinion, a gift card that can be redeemed at multiple retailers offers the best choice. 

Top Unique Virtual Gift Ideas for Clients

  1. Multi-loop gift cards redeemable at multiple locations for them to choose from.
  2. Virtual gift cards of low values for coffee / food at a venue near you both ‘This one’s on us!’ 
  3. A virtual personalised e-card with a custom message of thanks or to encourage a meeting. 
  4. Digital artwork is also a lovely idea. Commission a piece just for them! 
  5. Charitable donations – a virtual gift everyone can feel good about.
  6. Live streamed event tickets – you can stream your own or get tickets to a different event.

There are some other digital gift ideas that are even more personal, if you know the client well! 

  1. A digital gift idea we love is adopting an animal and sending a virtual certificate
  2. Creating an online magazine about them, or a poster for them, using their image
  3. Creating a virtual presentation on their highlights in a year with you 
  4. Making a virtual ‘ceremony’ or party just for them. 

Virtual Gifts For Employees

Over 44% of workers reported to be working from home or hybrid and only 56% in the UK traveled to work in the last seven days. It is clear that virtual gifts are of key importance for employers and employees. Able to boost morale, improve relationships and generally delight. 

Employees’ virtual gifts need to be something that they can use. We have read some eye-popping statistics about the increased amount of waste when it comes to employee rewards. Yours do not deserve to be in a landfill! So, you need some virtual gifts for employees, but they need to actually be appreciated and used. We have a couple of ideas. The first is the gift card. You might have an employee reward software system, or you might be able to buy gift cards in bulk for employer awards. Whatever you choose make sure it is a flexible gift card that can be used at a variety of retailers. You might want to provide more virtual rewards as well. 

Those are gifts they can do, experiences can really stick in the mind and feel like an appropriate treat. That could mean a wine-tasting event (you may need to send wines to the home in advance, so a little bit of pre-planning is required!)Perhaps, invite them to a quiz night, or give them virtual gift cards to do something that is close to them, whether that is for a hot air balloon ride, go-karting, painting, a spa day, or a beauty treatment. 

Ideas for rewarding employees with virtual gifts

  1. Subscriptions

Subscriptions work really well because they become an ongoing source of reward and a reminder of great work. It is easy to continue to reap the benefits of your initial outlay when there is a subscription arriving every month. What you choose it’s up to you, but they could be letterbox gifts or virtual gifts, such as payments for Spotify, food, delivery services or similar 

  1. A fitness membership

This can be a great way to improve your staff’s mental health and overall well-being. This could apply to things such as audiobooks and meditation apps.

Woman doing online yoga.
  1. A virtual gift card

Don’t forget that gift cards should be able to be spent on a variety of items, and should have an exceptionally long redemption time. It is very good to give a virtual gift to an employee, but make sure that they are not hindered by a lack of retailers that they want to spend money on, or two short time periods to do so.

Interested in Virtual Gifts? 

Who would you like to give gifts to this year? Don’t forget that virtual gifts and digital gifts can cost as little or as much as you like. If you are clubbing together for a collection for friends, clients or your team – why not use Collection Pot?

It represents a great alternative to gathering funds the old-fashioned way, and the lucky recipient doesn’t get a cumbersome gift, but a bank balance of cash, or a gift card to redeem it on exactly what they want.

If you are looking at virtual gifts or digital gifts for employees, for example, a Collection Pot is a great way to make that collection from everyone, and also has the benefit of offering wall personalisation where you can add videos and gifts to encourage engagement. 

Because a Collection Pot can be shared through a link or email, it makes the perfect switch on a typical card and for friends that aren’t together, it can even be used to raise funds for an adventure together. A shared Pot for that dream trip abroad? Yes, please! 

That’s just the start of what is possible. Have a look now, and don’t forget it’s completely free to set up a Collection Pot! 

What are you waiting for?

Elaine Keep

Elaine Keep is an accomplished content writer with over 15 years of experience in the field of marketing and content creation for many leading brands, where she shares her passion for research and helping others through her articles. You can also find her in 'mum mode', walking in the countryside or enjoying the dreamy combo of a new non-fiction book with a tea and chocolate bar to hand.

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