December 7, 2016
Alyce - Making Gift Givers Look Like Rock Stars

Quick, what was the best holiday present you ever received?

Was it something homemade or perhaps a trip for two to Hawaii? Maybe it was an autographed Tom Brady football?

Greg Segall, the CEO of Alyce, was stumped when asked this question, but claimed his favorite present of all-time – well technically the ‘coolest thing’ he ever received was a custom-made Van Halen piece of art.

“That gift blew me away,” Segall said of his Van Halen artwork. “I love Van Halen and that was such a cool piece because it was all in 3-D and it was so neat, so I always think about that particular gift.”

Unfortunately, Van Halen fans may not be able to find Segall’s custom made artwork through his current company, but they can utilize his service’s gifting platform to match their customers and employees with the perfect gift using social data.

Alyce opened its doors roughly a year ago with an initial plan of being a referral application, not a gifting service. However, the idea quickly changed, thanks to friends of Segall who experimented with his application and felt the ‘gifting’ feature, an option that was part of his original product, could be something businesses could utilize when identifying gifts for co-workers or bosses, especially around the holidays.

“I slapped together a bunch of wireframes and took out all of my friends that worked in agencies in Boston and asked them, ‘hey, can you click through this application and tell me what you think?’ And only two out of 10 of them really cared and liked the original idea,” said Segall.

“However, 10 out of 10 of them said, ‘oh man, that gifting thing is awesome and if you could just remind me to send a referral gift and also tell me exactly what to send, that would be awesome.’

“So, that was when all of a sudden we went from this idea of a referral app to basically scrapping that whole thing to flipping into a ‘gifting’ idea, and we did two more weeks of research and that was how Alyce came to life.”

Identifying the perfect gift through Alyce

Like all of us, finding that perfect present for bosses or co-workers can be challenging, especially if you vaguely know the individual.

Luckily, Alyce can assist, thanks to an easy process. Alyce users begin the process by typing in the recipients’ information and budget before the Artificial-Intelligence system sifts through thousands of options before presenting three ideal gifts. Once you have selected the ‘perfect present,’ you can then add a personal message via email or a hand-written note, while scheduling a specific delivery date to the recipient.

As for the recipient, they have the option to either accept, exchange or donate the gift privately – consider it a present that will never be re-gifted, as noted on the company’s website.    

Said Segall, “The whole key to Alyce is if we can create a system where you as the gift giver look like a rock star, then we have done our job.

“Alyce can assist with finding and suggesting three gifts you can send to an individual that are going to be around their interest, and the more information we have about the recipient, the better chance we have to gift something amazing that is 100 times better than the bar that is currently set for corporate gifting now.”  

Andres Alayza, the company’s Growth Marketing Lead, emphasized Segall’s point in a recent blog post on the company’s website where he wrote that ’70% of people want a gift that has been uniquely matched based on their interest.’

He continued writing; most people would rather not receive generic gifts like a fruit basket or corporate swag. 7 out of 10 people (70.22%) want to receive a gift that has been uniquely picked for them, based on their personal interests.

With the assistance of Alyce, along with its three-step process, one is guaranteed to identify the ideal present that will amaze their recipient.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

What really is the secret to Alyce is its teamwork and devotion to the model of finding the right gift?    

“The team we built features just so many passionate folks,” said Segall. “They come from all walks of life … but we toppled together this team that is really passionate about not only gifting, but also the vision of the organization.”

Segall’s team has helped Alyce grow leaps and bounds over the past year, attracting multiple companies in and around the Boston area, as well as outside New England utilize its services. And with the holiday season in full-bloom, Alyce will be the perfect stop for everyone that has a boss or co-worker on his or her list.

“Every day we get people forwarding ‘thank-you notes’ so that is where we step back and say that’s awesome,” said Segall.

Matt Noonan is a contributor to VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter: @MattNoonan11.