Business Owner FAQ




What is Nift?

Nift is an invitation-only network that helps neighborhood businesses get the right local customers to walk through the door. It's the only network that guarantees businesses are discovered every time they thank their best customers with Nift gifts.
It all starts with a "Nift," a neighborhood gift. When you give a Nift to one of your customers, you'll introduce them to another local business. In return, other neighborhood businesses will give Nifts to their best customers, introducing them to you.

Your customers get great gifts and you get discovered by the valued customers other businesses thank with Nift gifts. What's not to love?




How much does it cost to use Nift?

There are no fees to participate. Simply cover your cost of goods and services. When you sign up, you'll create a gift, set the price, and determine how many new customers you'd like to welcome each month. We'll feature your gift in the network and you'll start getting discovered by new customers right away. When a Nift customer comes in to redeem their gift at your business, you'll be responsible for covering the cost of your goods and services. You won't have any additional out of pocket expenses.

You can pay to boost your gift. Boosting increases the number of times great gifts are shown to potential customers, bringing more customers through the door. This is how it works. When a customer activates a Nift gift card, we use their location, preferences, gift quality and more to assign every available gift with a match score. We offer every person two gifts with the highest match scores. Those are the best two gift matches for that person in that millisecond.

How much does boosting cost? That's entirely up to you. To help guide you, we'll share how much other businesses pay and project how many customers may come in as a result of your boost. You'll set your monthly budget and can limit the cost per customer. If your boosted gift gets selected, you'll pay only when that person comes in to redeem their Nift.




What are some examples of Nift gifts?

Dinner for two, a massage, the perfect artisan cheese. Almost anything a business offers can be a Nift gift. Popular gifts include: $50 gift certificate to a boutique, tickets to a show, a $35 gift certificate to a restaurant, custom framing, a spa treatment like a facial or massage, lunch for two, 1-month gym membership, $20 towards baked goods, a gift certificate to a wine shop, and a bouquet of flowers. We tell business owners that a Nift gift should feel just like that… a gift. It shouldn't be a discount, but rather a true gift so that people who receive them can discover your business and experience it without having to pay more.




I received a private invitation. Who invited me to join Nift?

Nift is a private, invitation-only, network of hundreds of local independent businesses. They all use Nift to thank their best customers and get discovered by even more. Any one of these businesses could have invited you. We get recommendations from their customers, too.




Do I pick the gifts for my customers?

No, you don't. You get to pick the customers you want to send gifts to, but you don't get to pick their gifts.

Our patent-pending matching algorithms select the best two gift options for each of your customers. To be extra sure they get the right gifts, we take into account where they live, where they work, and what kinds of businesses they tell us they'd like to discover. As an added precaution, we also let you deselect the businesses whose gifts you'd prefer your customers don't receive, like your competition.




What if there's a business I don't want to send my customers to, like a competitor?

We've got you covered. Your customers will not receive gifts to your competitors unless you approve it. For example, a hair salon would never send their best customers to a competing Hair Salon. On the flipside, if there are neighborhood businesses that you love, you can mark them as favorites. This tells our system that you prefer them and helps us offer them whenever we can.




How do I decide who to give gifts to?

Give Nift gifts to your best customers. Not only are they the kinds of customers other business owners would appreciate meeting, they're the ones that can boost your business the most. Depending on what studies you believe, keeping just 5% more of your current customers can increase your profits by up to 95% (Harvard Business review told us that.)

We can help you give Nift gift cards to all of your customers in person or by email. We're happy to create custom envelopes for you and help you craft emails that truly express your gratitude and appreciation.

Here are 5 More Reasons Why Thanking Customers is Good for You and Them.




How does Nift ensure gift quality?

We review every gift to make sure it's suitable for the network, including the gift's image, language, and type. Once approved, gifts are offered to customers who live or work in the neighborhood and have already said they're interested in discovering a business like yours. Customers who select your gift, get a gift certificate to your store. We also request reviews every time a person redeems a gift. This helps Nift maintain high gift quality.




Can I give Nift cards in person and by email?

Sure. You can thank customers in person by giving Nift cards. We'll ship a stack of these cards to you at no charge when you sign up. You can also thank customers via email. Like Constant Contact or MailChimp, we'll send gifts to your customers from your email address. You can upload your customer list by logging into your account and selecting Account > My Customers > Import Customers. Your customers will always be matched with a choice of 2 gifts to other neighborhood businesses.




I'm hesitant to upload my customer email list. What will you do with it?

You don't need to upload your email list to sign up and use Nift. You can always give your customers physical Nift gift cards. Beyond sending Nift gifts, we use email addresses to help match gifts and confirm who received them. Nift can also cross-reference your email list to exclude your current customers from receiving your gift, thereby increasing the probability of offering your gift to someone who'd be excited to discover your business for the first time.

If you'd like to send Nift gifts to your customers via email, you'll need to upload your contacts. We integrate with many service providers, such as MailChimp and Constant Contact. Whether you connect through them or upload your list to Nift directly, the list and all of its contents remain yours. In fact, much like Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Salesforce.com, the gift emails you send to your customers will come from your email address through the Nift system, with Nift operating as an email service provider.

We take privacy and security very seriously. You are the sole owner of your email lists AND your business is the only one able to use your email list. Business owners choose who to email and always have the option to include a personal note.




Who owns my data? Can my data be resold?

When you upload your customer list to Nift, your data remains yours and can only be used to provide Nift services to you. Much like other web services, such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Salesforce.com, you always maintain ownership of your customer's contact details. Hence, this data can never be resold.




Do gifts have an expiration date?

Yes, they do. Depending on the type of business you have and the gift you create, a person who selects your gift will have between 28 and 35 days to redeem it. We send email reminders to and if we see that a gift has not been used and is about to expire, we ask customers if they'd like a 2-week extension. For people who say yes, this signals that they are still interested in trying your business and will likely stop by soon.




How are gifts redeemed?

There are two ways to redeem a Nift gift certificate:
1. Using a smartphone, customers can click REDEEM from their gift certificate, OR
2. Business owners can sign in to Nift for Business at www.gonift.com. Find the customer's name on the merchant dashboard and click REDEEM.

Once a gift is redeemed, businesses need to credit the gift value at the register.
Nift is not directly involved in the transaction process and relies on business owners to honor the full value of the Nift gift certificate, subject to the rules and restrictions that each business put in place when they created that gift. If you'd like to change your gift offer, we can work with your business to create a new gift and/or cancel an existing gift. Live gifts cannot be altered, and participating Nift Member Businesses agree to honor all gift certificates that have been issued.




How many customers will discover my business each month?

This is entirely up to you. By setting monthly gift targets, you determine how customers will discover your business each month and how many gifts you'd like to honor. Nift will offer your gift to customers that are right for your business. For example, those who live or work in your target neighborhoods and have already indicated that they're interested in discovering a business like yours.

We monitor gift performance to make sure gifts are being selected and redeemed at rates that bring in the number of customers Nift Member Businesses expect. The system course corrects as needed, and can be adjusted from the Nift Merchant Dashboard. This way, business owners can manage how many NIft customers come through the door each month.




Does Nift collect feedback and reviews?

Yes, we do. We ask for feedback every time someone uses a Nift gift. You can review this feedback in your Nift account. It's a great way to make sure your business is always making a good first impression. We also check back 30 days later to see if they've returned to your business or intend to do so soon.




Why do businesses use Nift?

  • Attract quality customers, not deal-seekers

  • Support local businesses

  • Boost revenue




How does Nift work with my existing loyalty program?

Nift can work seamlessly with an existing loyalty program. It's a complement in the sense that it can be used to thank customers that you've already identified as deserving a gift through your existing loyalty program. Unlike traditional loyalty program rewards, Nift gifts feel like real gifts because they aren't a gift to your business. They are real gifts, accompanied by a sincere thank you note, that encourage your customers to discover another great local business in the neighborhood.

People love getting Nifts, sometimes going as far as to send their own thank you note back to the business that gave them the Nift. Happy customers are loyal customers. Keeping just 5% more of them can increase your profits by up to 95% (Harvard Business review told us that.)




What's guaranteed?

  • Transparency, integrity, and a genuine partnership--we don't succeed unless you do

  • Regular reporting so you always know how Nift is helping your business

  • Control--target customers, set caps, rate customers, manage lists, and more




How come I've never heard of Nift?

Our first Nift network was established in Brookline, Massachusetts in 2015 with the goal of helping local business owners get discovered by new customers. Our founder's hairdresser became our first member. She helped to spread the word, and soon we had about a dozen businesses buying and selling gifts. Each time they bought a gift for one of their existing customers, they'd meet a customer from another neighborhood businesses in return. It was wild!

The hair salon introduced customers to the puzzle shop and the clothing boutique down the street. The children's clothing store introduced customers to a local photographer and the neighborhood liquor store. Everyone gave their customers gifts, and that made customers happy. And everyone met new customers, which made the business owners happy, too. That's when we knew we were on to something.

Since then, we've been building the network and working with select businesses to iron out the kinks and deliver an amazing product. We don't advertise and membership is by invitation only. So if you've been invited, you should know a fellow business owner or customer recommended you because they think your business is pretty awesome.




How can Nift help local businesses?

People love getting gifts, especially thank you gifts. That's how Nifts, neighborhood gifts, help businesses keep their best customers happy. Happy customers are repeat customers, and that's good for everyone.

Nifts also help people discover or get reaquainted with other local businesses. This works so well that many of our business partners believe that giving Nifts makes more sense than advertising, coupons or referral programs.

Giving Nifts strengthens the local economy, too. Nifts promote shopping local. When you buy a neighborhood gift as a thank you for one of your existing customers, you'll be helping them discover another local business. At the same time, another local business will use Nift to buy one of their customers a thank you gift — introducing them to you.




How is giving a Nift gift different than giving a coupon or free sample?

This is what truly sets Nift apart. We're not about deals or discounts. Nift Member Businesses give full-priced goods and services as gifts in the network. That's how we can attract the right kind of new customer to your business — the ones that are likely to come back. Remember, the people who redeem Nift gifts are not bargain hunters. They are another local business owner's best customers. They are the great tippers and loyal customers that business owners want to thank by giving them a Nift gift.




How is Nift different than Yelp or Groupon?

Unlike Yelp, Nift reviews can only be left by customers who receive a Nift gift to discover that local business. We believe this makes Nift reviews more authentic and reflective of a person's first experience with a small business. Nift is not like Groupon, either. We don't sell Nift gifts to consumers and more importantly, Nift gifts are full-valued gifts. They're not discounts or coupons.





Is Nift a way for businesses to sell gift cards?

No. Businesses cannot sell their Nift gift cards. Also, Nift gift cards have no cash value. They're simply an invitation for the recipient to go to www.nift.me and select a gift from the two options offered. Once a gift is selected, Nift will issue a gift certificate that's valid at the selected local business.





Is Nift only available in Boston?

Today, Nift works with businesses throughout Greater Boston, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. We're growing quickly and are adding new neighborhoods every day. If you'd like to join and there isn't a neighborhood network in your area, please let us know.





I'd like to try Nift, what do I do next?

Signing up for Nift is easy. If you've already received a private invitation, simply follow the link to sign up. Include your name and email address, verify your business details, and set up your gift. The whole process will take just a few minutes. There's no credit card required and no obligation to continue. Once you're approved, we'll send Nift gift cards to you right away so that you can start handing them out and thanking your best customers. If you haven't received a private invitation, you may request one here.