Guusto Expert Review, Pricing, Alternatives - 2022
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
Harvard University, Levi’s, The Body Shop, Toronto Raptors, Fairmont, Rexall, and more.
- Over 60,000 merchant locations to choose from
- 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
- Onboarding Programs
- Wellness Programs
- Quarterly & Annual Performance Awards
- Any Gift Card Program
Guusto offer the following pricing plans:
- Individual: Free. Just pay for rewards!
- Teams: Starts from $1.50 per member/month
- Enterprise: Starts from $2.50 per member/month
Subscription fees only apply for 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.
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- Custom API
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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.
- 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
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.