At Nebulab, we take a lot of pride in our two-pronged approach to creating value for eCommerce brands: on one side, we have our Consulting Services department, working with customers on a one-on-one basis to develop bespoke solutions. On the other, our R&D team is constantly looking for new product opportunities. When the two work together holistically to inform each other’s work, magic happens.
Today, we’re proud to announce Sprout, our product seeding toolkit born precisely from such a spark of magic. When we found ourselves solving the same problem over and over for different customers, we realized it was time to create a reusable solution that could put an end to brands’ influencer gifting pains once and for all.
What’s The Big Deal with Influencer Gifting?
After Apple released App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14.5, dramatically increasing the cost of paid social media advertising, most DTC brands began looking for novel marketing channels that could sustain their growth without killing their bottom line.
One of the most promising new channels is influencer marketing: by partnering with like-minded influencers and content creators, brands can access highly engaged audiences, usually at a fraction of the price of paid social. Influencer marketing is being adopted by brands of all sizes to complement and enrich their channel mix.
When partnering with an influencer, brands typically send them a free sample to try the product and generate relevant UGC to share with their audience. These samples may vary depending on how many SKUs the brand has, and they may include handwritten notes, branded merchandise, or other goodies to give the influencer even more firepower to efficiently promote the brand. Large brands also have stringent requirements around budget control, fulfillment, and revenue reporting.
As we worked with customers such as Cometeer and Goodles to develop bespoke solutions to solve these challenges, we realized that there was no product out there to facilitate influencer gifting campaigns at scale. All the gifting toolkits we looked at were either too focused on peer-to-peer gifting or part of larger, incredibly expensive influencer marketing platforms that do way more than the average brand will need.
As a result, most brands are using spreadsheets and manual work to run influencer gifting campaigns: they reach out to influencers individually, collect their shipping address and product preferences, and then ship out the samples manually. The entire process is time-consuming, prone to error, and above all, soul-sucking. We think that there are better uses of a marketer’s time.
So we set out to solve this problem once and for all.
Enter Sprout, Influencer Gifting Peace of Mind
Sprout is a simple product at its core: you connect it to your Shopify store, set up a gift link, and share it with your influencers. The influencer uses the link to select the product(s) they want to receive and enter their shipping information, and an order magically appears in your eCommerce platform, which you can fulfill like any regular order.
The magic of Sprout lies in the level of integration and control it offers:
- It supports rich product catalogs. You can have option selectors for multi-variant products, allow influencers to redeem merchandise and goodies along with the primary SKU, and specify redemption limits for each type of product.
- It’s on-brand through and through. The entire redemption experience can be customized from the ground up to match your branding. You can also add custom content blocks and even custom fields to collect additional information.
- It integrates seamlessly with your stack. Rather than forcing you to fulfill orders manually or through a separate UI, Sprout simply uses the eCommerce stack you already have: it integrates natively with your eCommerce platform and any apps you might have installed, so that any post-purchase automations will still fire–as long as you want them to, of course.
- It’s made for data-driven brands. Serious brands take reporting seriously. All gift orders created by Sprout use a special discount code and are tagged granularly, so you can easily filter them out in your reports and analytics.
- It gives you the control you need. If you’re a big player, we have what you need: Sprout allows you to invite multiple team members with different permission levels, assign monthly budgets to each team member, and automatically expire gifts to reclaim unused budgets.
And this is just the beginning: we’re working closely with our first cohort of customers to inform the product roadmap and enable Sprout to automate even more of your influencer gifting campaigns. With the capabilities unlocked by generative and predictive AI technologies, there’s an opportunity for Sprout to become a one-stop solution for your entire influencer funnel–but more on that when the time is ripe.
Take Sprout for a Spin!
Sprout is currently available to select brands in early access.
For $400/month, you get unlimited access to all features and a branded redemption page, lovingly crafted by our design team. In pure SaaS fashion, you can try Sprout for 30 days and cancel at any time if you don't think you're getting your money's worth—although we guarantee you will.
If you want to give it a try, reach out through Sprout's website and we’ll be in touch!