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Top Healthcare Gifts for your 2023 Holiday Redemption Stores

Welcome to the second post in our series on holiday gifts for your redemption programs. If you missed our Top Holiday Tech Gifts be sure to check it out. As we explained last week, gifts for tech workers can be tricky because they’ve already seen so many varieties of them. But if you think finding thoughtful gifts for the tech industry is tricky, try healthcare. How do you make these hardworking individuals – whose sole job is to care for others – feel cared for themselves?

The truth is that these individuals appreciate gifts that help them relax during the often limited time they have to care for themselves. They aren’t concerned about the latest tech gadget or another pen to use in the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives. We know that pens and stress relievers are hot sellers, but they’re the last things you should be showcasing in a holiday redemption store for healthcare workers.

What are the trending categories for healthcare awareness gifts? 

First, let’s check their vitals. What makes their hearts fill up with joy? As we saw in the last post, those totes and coolers are leading the promotional race again. However, that doesn’t mean your healthcare professionals want another red insulated lunch bag that only fits one Red Bull and a homemade sandwich during Heart Health Awareness Month. It means giving them something thoughtful that will light up their day and make them feel truly appreciated.

Trendsetting healthcare awareness gifts for redemption stores.

So, which items are going to earn you the Presidential Medal of Freedom? Well, we’ll talk to the President for you about that, but here’s what will get you close. Rest assured, if you order some spec samples and place them on a FREE demo redemption store to demonstrate to your healthcare clients just how easy it will be to present gifts to their entire staff without any hassle, we might even receive that call from the president ourselves. Let’s get to the hottest healthcare gifts for 2023:

Cotopaxi Bataan Hip Pack

The adult version of Kinder Joy Eggs, these bags are one-of-a-kind. Each pack features a unique color combination. Your clients’ employees can anticipate a delightful surprise! If this doesn’t get your clients’ team raving on social media about the unique design and excitement… well, we’d be at a loss for words. With 490,000 #cotopaxi hashtags out there, you’re in good hands.

Fleece Hoodie Wearable Blanket


Fleece Hoodie Wearable Blanket

It’s a blanket… it’s a sweater… it’s the 2008 Snuggie replica, still going strong. Let this piece do the talking with its functional relaxation. Plus, no size is required, which makes it super simple for your clients’ teams to place their orders on their holiday redemption store. They could literally do it in their sleep!

Malik Thermal Coaster

Malik Thermal Coaster

Did you know that an average 12-hour day shift requires a nurse to walk about 5 miles? Go for a 5-mile walk really quickly and tell me if your coffee is still warm when you get back. Alright, I’ll wait. Now that you’re back, how did it go? Do you feel like tossing some ice cubes in your cup now so you don’t waste that $0.72 Starbucks K-cup? Wouldn’t it be nice to have warm coffee all day long?

Thank you for staying tuned if you’ve made it this far. Next up, just when you thought you knew it all, the trendsetting Gen Zers in the Accommodation Industry! Until next time, happy selling!

Can’t wait to find out more? Reach out to us today to help kickstart your holiday sales goals.

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Top Holiday Tech Gifts for your 2023 Redemption Stores

It’s August, and you might be thinking, “Whew, time to relax a little. Tech tradeshows are over.” Nope! Just because you missed Christmas in July doesn’t mean you can slow down for the holidays. In fact, it’s time to get off the couch, crack your knuckles, and start pitching holiday redemption stores to your savvy clients.

After spending eight months presenting, ordering, and tracking every possible trending gift, giveaway, conference piece, and more, your job isn’t done. And before you tell me that your brain hurts from the numerous “holiday gift guides” from every supplier in the industry, it’s time to pull out all the stops to wow your customers with something they’ve never seen before. Maybe even something you’ve never seen before.

What are the trending categories for holiday tech gifts?

We all know our techies love statistics and numbers. So, let’s start with the categories that are trending right now in tech gifts. Don’t worry, your suppliers will hand this information over to you on a silver platter and say, “Please…sell from the top 100 list. These items are working.” Below, you’ll see that totes and coolers are leading the race.

Trending tech gifts for 2023

What does this mean? No, not another conference tote. Save that for January. This means showing them items in these categories that will truly capture your techie trendsetter’s attention.

Trendsetting holiday tech gifts for redemption stores.

Now, how unhelpful would it be if I didn’t suggest the perfect items? I guarantee that if you take these items, put them on a FREE demo store, and show them to your clients, you’ll get the interest you are looking for!

Timbuk2 x League of Legends Totepack

Timbuk2 x League of Legends Totepack

If you aren’t bringing up this brand in your client meetings, you aren’t providing them with the quality they are looking for. Offer them an option that says, “Thank you for carrying your work computer around with you everywhere” in style!

Asobu Coldbrew Insulated Portable Brewer

Asobu® Coldbrew Insulated Portable Brewer

If I hear the “S” word one more time right now, you know what I’m talking about. Stanl…no, I need a break. Don’t quote me, but I bet one out of every 10 people has one. What do most trendy people want? They want whatever they’re doing to take time and involve multiple pieces. Who wouldn’t want to say, “Oh, I had my premium coffee in my hotel this morning via my portable brewer. I can go make you a cup” while discussing how the complimentary hotel coffee isn’t enough?

Rocketbook Core Director Notebook Bundle Set

Rocketbook Core Director Notebook Bundle Set

We know it seems a little counterintuitive, but one of the most popular gifts for tech companies is about as ‘analog’ as it gets: the Rocketbook. And let’s not forget that sustainability is on everyone’s minds. There’s not a company in the world right now that isn’t putting together a sustainable task force. What better way to meet our industry’s needs than a reusable, sustainable, tech-inspired journal?

Stay tuned for our holiday gifting trends series. Next up, another notoriously tricky industry for gifting: Healthcare! Until next time, happy selling!

Can’t wait to find out more? Reach out to us today to help kickstart your holiday sales goals. New to holiday redemption stores? Check out our ABCs of Redemption Stores to learn the ropes!

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Should you care about Bitcoin?

A cryptocurrency primer for e-commerce.

Bitcoin graphic

Tesla announced today that it was buying $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and would soon accept the currency as payment for its vehicles. Both Bitcoin and Tesla seem to have realized some short-term financial benefit from this news (as Mr. Musk no doubt intended), but I’m sure it left a lot of folks scratching their heads. While Bitcoin has become a speculative financial instrument long unmoored from its original purpose, cryptocurrency in general is starting to tease around the margins of payment and commerce. If you’re selling things online, you might be wondering what all this means to you.

The short answer is not much, at least for now. You probably won’t accept cryptocurrency as a payment method anytime soon. Crypto has created enough of a stink that, for a time, there was a sense in the e-commerce world that it might muscle in as an entirely different way of paying for things, like PayPal or Venmo. But it’s worth remembering that those services, process innovations aside, are still moving dollars or Euros or pesos around. For better or worse, most of the world runs on fiat currency, which is a fancy way of saying money whose value is determined by governments (and no, I’m not going to talk about gold, so don’t even start with me).

So, what the heck is cryptocurrency, anyway? Put simply, cryptocurrency is both a currency and an anonymous ledger (the anonymous part is important, but hang on for a sec). A dollar bill is currency, and it’s often anonymous, in the sense that you don’t sign your name to it in order to pay someone else (like a check or a credit card receipt, which is really just an IOU for some amount of dollar bills). Ultimately, though, it’s cumbersome to conduct big business with hard currency. There just aren’t enough wheelbarrows around.

Also, unless you’re selling weed and don’t want the government to know what you’re up to, you need to keep track of all those dollars, whether in real or IOU form. That’s a ledger – just a list of transactions, one after the other. Hard cash businesses (at least aboveboard ones) have ledgers too, but most businesses operate astride a vast and complex set of IOUs and assurances that, somewhere, somehow, if they had to, they could walk into the bank and withdraw a wheelbarrow full of hard cash.

There are some persistently thorny issues with this arrangement, as you’ve probably seen. Middlemen of every stripe want to skim a penny here, a half penny there, for the privilege of moving your money around. Exchange rates fluctuate, so tomorrow your scratch might get you a few less potatoes from the fellow across the river than it did today. And you might indeed have some perfectly valid reasons to not want every prying eye ogling your ledger, yet still want to conduct business without paper or coin (this is one reason why cryptocurrency is starting to see adoption in the third world – many people have phones, but carrying cash can be risky).

Cryptocurrency attempts to remedy all this by establishing itself as an alternate currency (we won’t talk about value yet, which is, yeah, a thing) with some form of a ledger built in. In other words, the currency itself contains the ledger. This is often built on the foundational concept of the blockchain, a very fancy ledger where each transaction more or less verifies the previous one and the entire ledger is unalterable and encrypted. I’m simplifying a bit, but the concept is fairly straightforward, and once you grok its core purpose — the elimination of a central authority to validate transactions — it starts to make sense. When someone hands you a dollar bill (unlike a check, or a credit card), you don’t even need to think about calling someone to see if it’s real. Now, if that dollar bill could move through the internet and through any number of people and countries and still be what it started out as – an anonymous transmitter of value that no one in all the intervening steps could get their grubby hands on – you’d have what a lot of nerds consider to be an ideal currency.

(As an aside, some cryptocurrencies can be “mined”; that is, created out of thin air by computers. This was designed as a way of sharing the computing load of all the encryption the blockchain requires. The theory was that if you paid folks a tiny morsel of said currency to handle the distributed nature of validation and encryption, you could cover the computing costs of decentralization. Instead, because Bitcoin is so valuable, Bitcoin mining is now an absurd industry that uses roughly nine nuclear plants worth of energy every day to create currency. You might as well call it KiloWattCoin, since it’s turning electricity into money.)

But is crypto an ideal replacement for fiat currency? Not yet. It might be, eventually, in some form. A lot of insanely smart people are working to make this happen. It won’t be with Bitcoin itself, which, despite what Elon Musk may claim to the contrary, is no longer really a currency but a purely speculative financial instrument. This is where that pesky value problem comes in. If you don’t peg crypto to anything at all, its value is whatever everyone who holds it (or wants it) thinks it is. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that; currency is always no more than what everyone agrees it is (it’s just that in certain cases the chorus is anchored by some very deep voices, namely governments and their banks). Bitcoin isn’t pegged to anything and is about as predictable as a broken roulette wheel. It also has a pressing technical quandary: The transaction volume over time has created a near-unmanageable computational load. Turns out that hardening your ever-growing ledger with world-beating encryption has some undesirable side effects once you’re hundreds of millions of transactions down the chain.

Bitcoin is thankfully off the table as far as a normal transactional currency you need to think about. Stripe, one of the biggest payment technology companies, dropped support for Bitcoin a few years ago; their explanation as to why is a model of economical economic prose, and well worth reading if you want to understand a little bit more about why Bitcoin is viewed primarily as an asset rather than a means of exchange.

The cryptocurrencies I vote Most Likely to Succeed will likely matriculate from the school of “stablecoin”, which I suppose is what happens when you fix what ain’t broke then have to break it again. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that are pegged to some real-world value, like dollars or Euros or gold or silver or even, in a delightfully recursive loop, other cryptocurrencies. Stablecoins take the “good” part of crypto – anonymized, electronic, borderless cash – and remove the crappy parts, like crazy volatility and onerous ledger maintenance. Stablecoins are making inroads in third-world cash economies where the adoption of inexpensive mobile phones has outpaced all the payment infrastructure and credit issuance that we take for granted. It’s possible at some point in the next ten years we’ll see one or more stablecoins make their way into global commerce.

Of course, the final hurdle for worldwide cryptocurrency adoption is the bogeyman it was partly created to avoid: The tax man. Anonymous, distributed transactions are anathema to regulation, taxation and half the other things that make most governments run. Government may not be able to stop the tide of cryptocurrency, but it’s absolutely going to be a giant pain in the ass about it. What else is new?

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