The best Customer Appreciation Day gifts honor your relationship with your customers and show that you value them.
This year, National Customer Appreciation Day is Sunday, April 18th, though many businesses opt to choose their own annual date to show gratitude to their customers. Dairy Queen, for example, has generated great publicity and customer goodwill over the past decade with their deep discounts (50% off all menu items) during their annual “fan appreciation day” promotion held near the end of January. Similarly, many Jimmy John’s franchise locations have a $1 sub day promotion each Spring to show their regulars how much they appreciate them. Wireless carriers T-Mobile and Boost Mobile frequently give away snacks and raffle off promotional merchandise, such as branded t-shirts and hats, at customer appreciation events across the nation. Banks, car dealerships, utility companies, hair salons, restaurants and retail stores also hold annual “customer appreciation” open house events with free food, product samples and gifts. Other businesses choose to send handwritten thank you notes and/or personalized swag (such as calendars, gift baskets, and apparel) to their loyal clients once a year.
Improved Customer Retention
While offering serious discounts and freebies on an annual basis takes a chunk out of your marketing budget, regular customer appreciation promotions are well worth the cost. That’s because it is significantly cheaper to keep a current customer than attract a new one. According to Harvard Business Review, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Showing gratitude to your customers via a customer appreciation strategy goes a long way towards improved customer retention and increased business growth. According to AYTM, a market research company, 91% of respondents to their customer appreciation survey stated that they would be more likely to do business with companies that show appreciation to their customers. Yet only 62% of respondents felt that most of the businesses they shopped at have shown good customer appreciation. Furthermore, 68% of customers stop doing business with a company because of a “perceived attitude of indifference on the part of the company.”
Gifts, Not Discounts
With research strongly pointing to the value of having a well-developed and well-funded customer appreciation strategy, we examined the benefits of distributing free customer gifts (aka swag) as part of a customer appreciation day promotion. Ecwid, an online e-commerce platform, recently published an article about consumer gifting best practices in which they asked the question: “How does a discount compare against a gift in terms of marketing impact?” The consumer psychology research that they found indicated that: “…people prefer to get more rather than spend less. A free gift might have higher perceived value since it gives them more.” This insight comes from a 2012 Journal of Marketing study, which measured whether consumers prefer discounts to free gifts or “bonuses.” Researchers found that shoppers “much prefer getting something extra free to getting something cheaper. The main reason is that most people are useless at fractions.”
While many companies, especially in the restaurant industry, choose to offer discounts instead of free gifts during their customer appreciation day events, others elect to provide gifts instead. When it comes to expressing sincere gratitude to your customers, carefully selected gifts are one of the best options available. According to Benedict Clark, of customer engagement platform Acquire, “Giving a gift ‘just because’ shows appreciation without an obvious attempt to get something in return, emphasizing your authenticity. There is no hidden agenda.”
The Best Customer Appreciation Day Gifts
With that in mind, we put together a list of our favorite personalized customer appreciation gift ideas for 2021, based on 2021 swag trends:
Gifts Made in the USA
Consumers increasingly favor businesses that distribute swag that was made in America. Some of our best Made in USA promotional products that make excellent customer appreciation gifts include:
One of our favorite customer appreciation day ideas for banks, this calendar is made in the USA and features beautiful landscapes from across America. The many customization options available help you inform your customers about your hours/locations, contact information and services.
This unisex soft knit fabric beanie is made in the USA and is available in 13 colors. Add your company’s logo with 3D embroidery.
Choose from 5 leather colors and add your company logo to create a beautiful and practical personalized gift.
This attractive handcrafted felt case for sunglasses is easily customizable. Choose from a variety of domestic leather accent colors and customize to match your company logo with Irish waxed linen accent stitching colors to create something truly unique.
Food Gift Baskets
Food gift baskets and boxes are classic customer appreciation gifts. Some delectable options:
This gratitude and goodies gift box features an array of thoughtful sweet and savory Artisan treats suitable for any occasion.
This practical snack pack cooler comes filled with caramel popcorn, peanut crunch, chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate sea salt seed bar and whole grain pretzels.
Express your gratitude and generosity with this customizable Sweet Thanks gift set! Our popular Avery Cotton Pouch comes in an assortment of colors and is fully packed with delicious gourmet snacks that are sure to please. Contents include berry nut mix and milk chocolate almond toffee, though a gift bag containing only the berry nut mix is also available.
A Mini version of our POP-ular Movie Night Kit this natural popcorn seasonings and Non-GMO Project Verified kernels will cure their cravings! A memorable thank you or client gift.
Eco Friendly Gifts
We love green products – and so do your customers! Consumers are increasingly interested in sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Additional eco friendly corporate gift ideas are included in our recent Sustainable Swag Ideas post.
Tall, narrow BPA-free water bottle. Bottles are individually poly-bagged. Made in USA, Recyclable, Environmentally Friendly.
This 3-piece set includes fork, spoon and knife in a convenient carrying case – all made from sustainable, environmentally friendly bamboo fiber. This set is perfect for being on the go and eliminating the use of disposable plastic utensils.
This environmentally friendly gift is one of our favorite customer appreciation day ideas for restaurants! The perfect giveaway or raffle item for your regulars.
Wellness and Self-Care Gifts
Wellness gifts are quite popular right now with consumers seeking stress relief and self-care during the pandemic. A few of our favorite wellness-themed customer appreciation gifts for 2021:
One of our bestselling wellness gifts. This aromatherapy candle is a smart choice for any giveaway or gift basket. Customize your label with brand colors and logo.
The Outdoor 5-Piece Wellness Set includes a 0.33 ounce pen spray bottle of Hand Sanitizer, SPF30 Sunscreen, After Burn Spray Insect Repellent & After Bite Spray. All components are packed inside a sturdy travel case. Meets FDA requirements.
Inexpensive Gifts Under $5
Some customer appreciation day gift ideas that won’t break your marketing budget:
This medium ballpoint pen has black ink and a matching trim color imprint. The LED light makes writing a fun little show for any recipient. Add your company name, logo and advertising message to increase your brand’s reach.
The EVA Travel Case can securely store and carry all of your accessories, including earbuds, cables, or any small gadgets.
This koozie features the best full-color imprint in the industry. It has a sharp, clear, photographic quality and is available from 1-color to full color.
Add your logo to this handy mint keychain – a smart (and tasty) marketing product for your business.
The Manhattan Beach Mat is a folding beach mat with a zippered closure and a matching color shoulder strap. Add your logo above the zipper.
Personalized Office Gifts
Some customizable gifts that your customers can use in the workplace or their home office:
Featuring a bound hard cover with rounded corners, bookmark and elastic strap closure, this reliable travel companion is perfect for notes, sketches and thoughts. Have your logo imprinted.
Two compartments using high density insulation; top compartment that can be folded over or with zipper for extra capacity and bottom zippered compartment includes food container. Rear ID window. Padded carry handle with Swing Clip™ allows attachment to backpacks or briefcases.
Don’t let its size fool you, this miniature vacuum can tackle any mess. Effortlessly sucking up crumbs and other tabletop debris, this vacuum comes in handy for cleaning your desktop, keyboard, drawers, and more.
Personalized Tech Gifts
Some of the trendiest technology items to gift to your customers in 2021 include:
Looking for a way to easily transport your tunes? The Chyrp is a portable, lightweight wireless speaker equipped with a carry strap for your backpack or your bike.
This UV Desktop Phone Sanitizer uses UV-C light technology for sanitization to kill 99% of microorganisms tested. It can sanitize almost anything that fits inside such as large phones, keys, credit cards, watches, eyeglasses & jewelry.
Shock the room with the power of the Temblor speaker and charger combo! Using your phone and blasting tunes? No problem. When plugged in, the top of the Temblor can be used as a wireless charging pad.
Propel your brand into the future! Aaytee is a battery-operated robot that can react and respond to voice commands. It will dance, sing, converse, and has capabilities to record your voice and play it back to you!
Remotely controlled through an app on your smart device, this drone does so much more than just fly. It takes real-time pictures & videos, features aerobatic flight, real-time camera transmission, & phone-tilt control. An excellent client appreciation gift idea for law firms, financial services companies, and consulting firms.
Our Top Picks: The Best Customer Appreciation Gifts for 2021
We love these gifts! Not only are they practical but they also make an unmistakable statement of gratitude.
The Thank You umbrella delivers a world of thanks! It has a 48″ arc with automatic opening with a pre-printed, design of the word “Thank You” in seven different languages on the underside. It features a black rubberized handle and matching nylon sleeve.Mixing Glasses Set
This mixing glass thank you set features four 16 Oz. drinking and mixing glasses and a thank you box. Shown with optional Jet-Directt™ sidewall imprint. 5.75″ Tall.
Corporate Gift Giving is Vital
Whether you want to hand out gifts at an open house or networking event or kit and send your gifts via mail, showing gratitude to your customers is a vital part of any company’s marketing strategy. Gifts are the perfect way to show your customers that you appreciate them. And letting your customers know how much you appreciate their business is one of the absolute best ways to improve your company’s customer retention rate and increase business growth in 2021.
If you would like assistance with selecting the best gifts for your next customer appreciation day promotion, Contact Us or fill out the form below.