Guusto Expert Review, Pricing, Alternatives - 2022

4.9
(2945)
Rodrigo Vázquez Mellado
HR and B2B software analyst & advisor, tech writer, musician
November 12, 2022

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Guusto Versus the Competition

Guusto lets you send a free test gift so you can try the platform. You can also send thousands of gifts from a free account and let the employee receiving the gift choose the merchant. The platform is gift-card oriented, sleek, and rapidly-growing.

If you're ready to get a Guusto demo, we suggest getting in touch for a look at the product and quote. Otherwise, read on!

Pros
  • They partnered with the One Drop Foundation to donate 1 day of clean drinking water for every gift sent.
  • All gift cards are actually digital, meaning there’s no plastic waste. This also makes it a very remote-friendly product. 
  • Guusto is not a points program. All the gifts within the platform are real dollar value.
Cons
  • Their merchant selection is very US and Canada focused. For the rest of the world, they only offer custom and Amazon rewards. 
  • Similarly, only USD and CAD are available as currencies

Guusto Review

One of Guusto’s key differentiating factors is that you can have a free plan forever if you limit it to single user accounts instead of getting the social features like feeds, company core values, and budgets for each team member. You’d only pay for each gift you send. Our pricing section discusses the other plans in more detail. 

Whether you sign up for a free account or start by sending a free gift, you’d kick things off by selecting a merchant to send the gift card from. They also have a feature that would let the recipient choose for a gift by any partner merchant. You set a value for the reward, a number of gifts, and a claiming period. If the gift isn’t claimed within said period (from 1 month to a year), you get a full refund. 

After this, you can personalize the gift by adding a note, selecting the reason behind this recognition, and adding a custom image. The digital gift card can then be sent via email or printed for in-person giving. After this, you’d add the recipient's details, have the option to notify their managers, and schedule the gift or send it immediately. Within these last steps, you can also send several gifts to multiple recipients by uploading a .csv file. 

So, it’s basically a two-step (select the gift, select a recipient) process within a fairly intuitive and clear platform. From the recipient’s side, they get an email (which can be customized) with the gift card details, but these are also saved within their platform account if they have one. In the latter case, they can choose to redeem a certain amount, even among different businesses. To make it more clear, let’s say you receive a $200 gift card to use with any merchant you like from a colleague because of showing exemplary leadership during a project that was recently completed. After getting the notification email, you can go into Guusto and split the $200 between Amazon, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble. Gifts can also be combined if you’ve got your eye towards something bigger, as long as they don’t expire first.

Who shouldn't buy Guusto

Businesses outside the US and Canada would find the rewards offer too limited, as it would only be Amazon gift cards and custom gifts. As for businesses in those regions, those looking for more rewards in the form of physical goods or experiences would also be wise to look at other platforms.

Guusto Customers

Harvard University, Levi’s, The Body Shop, Toronto Raptors, Fairmont, Rexall, and more.

Guusto: Free employee recognition program

Guusto Stats

  • Over 60,000 merchant locations to choose from

Guusto Key Features

  • Peer-to-Peer Rewards: By activating what they call the Nomination Box, you can let your employees recognize each other by nominating colleagues to receive a reward. Managers can then issue rewards based on the leaderboards that Guusto generates automatically. Automated draws are also possible.
  • Pay-it-forward: When sending a gift, you can mark an option that would require the recipient to then send a gift to someone else.  

Among Guusto’s features, you’ll also find: 

  • Milestone / Anniversary / Years-of-Service Awards
  • Real-Time Recognition / Spot Bonuses
  • Leaderboards 
  • Onboarding Programs
  • Wellness Programs
  • Goals
  • Quarterly & Annual Performance Awards
  • Any Gift Card Program
  • Reports

Guusto Key Integrations

  • honeybeeBase for time and task management
  • Xoxoday Empuls for employee engagement
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Custom API
  • SSO with Google

Guusto Pricing

Guusto offer the following pricing plans:

  • Individual: Free. As a single user, you only pay for rewards.
  • Essential: Starts from $2.25 per member/month
  • Premium: Starts from $3.50 per member/month

Subscription fees only apply to team members sending gifts, not all employees. The HR team's budget will be linked to how much per employee per year you want to spend. Also, some contract minimums may apply.

Motivosity Recognize
Motivosity Recognize
Motivosity Lead
Motivosity Listen
Free
$5 per person per month
$6.50 per person per month
$2 per person per month

Guusto is Best For

Companies in the US and Canada looking for a plug and play solution for employee rewards and recognition. It’s good for both small and large teams that need something to get started with quickly, but has all the features for social recognition, albeit with a limited rewards catalog (only gift-cards).

Motivosity Recognize
Motivosity Recognize
Motivosity Lead
Motivosity Listen
Free
$5 per person per month
$6.50 per person per month
$2 per person per month

Guusto Implementation

The claim is “start in minutes, not months”. After selecting a plan, signing up is pretty straightforward and, from there, it’s a matter of how quick the solution can be adopted internally. For your first step, you can choose from a free demo, creating a free account, or trying the platform by sending 1 test gift for no charge whatsoever.

Guusto Customer Success

  • Free resources include blog posts, guides, webinars, a ROI calculator, and a new features feed. 
  • Comprehensive help center
  • Live chat
  • Premium onboarding packages with a designated contact

About Guusto

Guusto was started by Ontarians Skai and Joe. With low job prospects in Canada after the 2008 global recession, they decided to start a dining tour. While doing that, they noticed that many restaurants would get frequent calls from people asking to send drinks or a meal to a friend or client, but the establishments would refuse to take credit cards over the phone. The duo realized there could be an app for that.

Hence, this employee recognition platform actually started as a consumer app. It allowed you to send drinks to friends or colleagues via a network of partner restaurants. The pair got some funding from friends and family, then went to Dragon’s Den, unsuccessfully, until they noticed that the app was actually being used by HR people sending gifts to employees. 

Their platform was then shaped behind an attempt to help mitigate the perils of a low employee engagement. According to their research, in the US, 44% of employees turnover each year, causing costs of up to $35,000 to replace each employee and an estimated $15,000 lost in productivity. 

As remote work became more of a possibility for more kinds of workers, the founders of Guusto realized that these figures were poised to get even worse. If suddenly it’s somewhat easier for workers to switch jobs or join the gig economy, how can companies try to create a work environment that they’d think twice about leaving? 

While gift cards are a rather simple answer, Guusto’s success stories, customer list, and ROI calculator make a compelling case for these being an actual incentive. The platform doesn’t stop at just gift cards, but it enables managers and team members alike to recognize great achievements in a public forum.

As a next step you can visit the Guusto website or read our research on the Best Employee Recognition Platforms.

As a next step you can visit the Guusto website or read our research on the Best Employee Recognition Platforms.

Guusto Alternatives

Nectar's employee recognition and rewards platform is ideal for companies who want a high engagement peer to peer solution with great analytics and rewards built in.
Reward Gateway is an employee engagement platform that combines employee recognition and reward, surveys, communication, discounts (instant vouchers and cashback offers), wellbeing and analytics in a single solution.
Unlike many vendors in the recognition space, Motivosity believes in an employee driven culture which manifests itself in a product focused on peer to peer recognition and engagement versus the top down nature of most incumbent players in this space.
They simplify rewards, recognition, and incentives thanks to their Amazon Business integration which gives them access to a huge number of employee rewards.
Mo’s rewards and recognition platform packs an impressive range of vouchers that can be shared as rewards. The platform is also 12 languages and growing, making it a good fit for companies with distributed, multilingual employees.
WeGift is a smart solution for distributing gift cards at scale. They stand out for providing access to 1300+ brands, bulk discounts of up to 25% off, and the ability to reclaim unspent value on expired gift cards.
Bucketlist helps HR teams to engage employees through a customizable rewards and recognition platform that easily integrates with the apps your employees already use like Slack, Teams, Outlook.
Bonusly is easy to use and set up, comes with a large rewards catalog, and is simply a great peer-to-peer recognition platform.
Kudos® have paired their employee recognition software with additional employee engagement functionality. Features like spaces and galleries and culture tools are unique to the space. They also do consulting for companies that need extra assistance.
Workstars provides companies with a dynamic platform for highly customizable recognition programs for their employees.
As an employee experience platform, Cooleaf empowers companies to engage and motivate their staff by capturing employee sentiment using pulse surveys, performance incentives, and bringing employees together with recognition and virtual activities.
WorkTango combines continuous performance management, employee recognition, rewards, and engagement surveys into one powerful platform to help you improve employee experience and by extension, company culture.
Gifted is completely free, easy to set up, lets people choose their gifts, and features automated & timed gifting.
Assembly helps small and midsized companies to acknowledge employees so they can build a strong culture and reduce employee churn through peer to peer recognition.
Blueboard is a one-stop-shop to create personalized and meaningful rewards for employees, most in the form of real-life memorable experiences.
Darwinbox's employee rewards and recognition solution allows you to create completely configurable reward programs, design your own badges and banners and customize them to resonate with your brand. They also offer reward redemption options from a marketplace of 1500+ retailers across 55+ countries.
They’ve been quick to adopt a remote-first approach to team recognition, helping you send gifts to employees, customers, or prospects to their home, for instance.

FAQs

Does Guusto offer a money-back guarantee? 

Yes. With any of the paid plans, this employee recognition SaaS platform offers a 60-day full money back guarantee on any subscription fees.

What’s the difference between Guusto and Gusto? 

Guusto, pronounced something like “goost-oh”, is the employee rewards and recognition platform we’ve covered in this review. Gusto, pronounced like the noun, is a payroll and HR platform. The only connection between the two is the similar name.

Company HQ
Vancouver, British Columbia
Number of Employees
65+
Year Founded
2013
Amount Raised
Guusto was actually the first Canadian company to close a round of equity crowdfunding in 2016.
Listed in our research about Employee Recognition Software
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