CanGift launching online B2B marketplace in February
TORONTO – The Canadian Gift Association (CanGift), organisers of twice-yearly giftware and home décor trade events at the Congress Centre here as will in Edmonton, has partnered with an American internet technology specialist to create a new online business-to-business platform to connect its members with retail buyers across the country.
In a statement, the association said CanGift 365 will aid retailers to place orders with wholesale suppliers and brands digitally, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
“The membership of our association is comprised of wholesale companies,” explains Anita Schachter, CanGift’s president and chief executive officer. “We’ve worked extremely hard to find a direction that will create new business opportunities across the country, and I am very pleased to say, this online platform is exclusive to Canada.”
The association recently cancelled the spring 2021 edition of the Toronto Gift + Home Show because of the restrictions imposed by the provincial government to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It was originally scheduled to run from January 31 to February 4, 2021.
Its next event is the Alberta Gift + Home Show, which was original scheduled to be held in its original February time slot will instead open for its usual four-day run on April 18, 2021.
All things equal, the fall edition of the Toronto event, which often features as many as 1,800 exhibitors and hosts as many as 25,000 retail buyers, will be held from August 8 to 11, 2021.
The association plans to launch the platform in February 2021. Qualified retail buyers will be able to log in to explore brands and products from CanGift members and place orders directly through the site with the opportunity to work directly with trusted industry salespeople trained on those products.
An expansive search feature will allow buyers to discover products across all brands, making this platform accessible for both small and large suppliers.
“The human connection is the core of our industry that can’t be forgotten,” Schachter said. “With the cancellation of our in-person trade events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a virtual commerce opportunity was as essential as keeping that personal touch.”
“We are honoured to partner with the Canadian Gift Association and their stakeholders,” says Todd Litzman, co-founder and CEO of Brandwise, the Colorado-based firm that designed the CanGift 365 platform. “We have a long history of working with Canadian partners including hundreds of CanGift members who have been part of our ecosystem for many years.”
In addition to the safety and convenience of ordering directly from the retailers’ store, office, or home, the association believes the platform will enhance the relationship with their wholesale suppliers, salespeople, agencies, and the gift industry as a whole. Additional benefits include a low barrier to entry for wholesale companies, access to thousands of products across hundreds of wholesale suppliers and the incorporation of the Brandwise 2.0 architecture.
Schachter believes the CanGift 365 marketplace provides a powerful tool for its members and will enhance their in-person trade shows. “With Brandwise’s experience in training, technical and show support and operations expertise behind this initiative, the digital platform can also be used for face-to-face order capturing, making it a timeless opportunity for all participants,” she said.