For every $10 the average American spends, $1 is spent on buying someone a gift. More surprisingly, studies reveal that gifters spend an average of $1,851 on gifts and gift wrap, cards, and other gifting accessories annually. Yowza.

The gifting market is estimated to be $131.3 billion, and the bulk of that spend is online--gifters clearly rely on the internet to research, select, and buy. The promotional gifting segment accounts for 17 percent of the market, or $22 billion per year.

Promotional or corporate gifts seem like a fairly recent way to do marketing, but research shows it to be a 200-year-old tradition. So, for more than two centuries, people have been receiving branded products, to be worn in a way of promoting a company, a product, or even an artist or politician.

It's about time we find new ways to develop professional relationships--forms of gifting and recognition that are actually about the person who is receiving them and not advertising tools. This startup is setting out to do just that.

Meet Alyce

Taking a technology-first approach with an intuitive A.I., Alyce will tell you the gift someone really wants and the most impactful time to send it. In addition to its A.I.-powered gifting, Alyce allows for exchanges, bulk gifting, buying subscriptions, flexible delivery methods, and deep CRM integrations.

Gifts have the purpose of strengthening relationships, and Alyce ensures that the person receiving one feels valued as it evokes the right emotional response. Spending money on a gift is an investment in improving the way a person feels about you and your company.

In speaking to the Alyce vision, founder and CEO Greg Segall says,

"We are witnessing firsthand that sending the right corporate gifts at the right time incentivizes actions--decreasing customer churn, retaining an employee, motivating a sales team, or closing a prospect faster. With Alyce, our vision is to turn the 'last minute, I have to send something' gifting budgets into a year-round strategic endeavor that all departments looking to build relationships and accomplish goals need to do. And make it dead simple and fun. We want to be the Kleenex of corporate gifting."

Alyce also unveiled some pretty surprising results from its corporate gifting survey supporting the notion that the industry pain points are very real:

  • Satisfaction with corporate gifts is low. Given the opportunity, 88 percent of people would exchange a corporate gift for something more suited to their interests.
  • 90 percent of people do not want to receive swag as a gift, and 23 percent throw it right away.
  • Gifting alone does not improve relationships, but giving the right gift at the right time does. Seventy percent of respondents said that uniquely picked gifts would encourage them to continue to do business with a company. On the other hand, swag might discourage 11 percent from doing so.

Take a gander at the report's full findings. At the very least, you'll enjoy their personality.