Samwers Take A Baby Step Into The U.S., Launches Social Gifting Service DropGifts As A B2B Play

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In a move that somewhat deviates from the Samwer brothers’ usual playbook, Rocket Internet’s DropGifts, the social gifting platform that lets users send each other gift cards and claim product samples offered by brands, is launching a dedicated B2B play starting with the U.S. market first rather than its home turf of Europe or via a land grab in developing markets. That said, we shouldn’t read too much into what is clearly a baby step no matter how Rocket is spinning the announcement.

DropGift’s new B2B offering builds on its original B2C play (which was already available in the U.S.) and piggybacks Facebook to enable brands to target their “fans” with sampling and gifting campaigns and, in turn, as with other social marketing platforms, turn those fans into so-called brand ambassadors. Campaigns appear on the brand’s own Facebook page via a specific application tab, with their own branding not DropGift’s, essentially replicating a white-label version.

Companies using the platform can set up a campaign to enable their existing “fans” to send samples to their friends and claim samples for themselves directly via the brand’s Facebook page.

Alternatively, they can orchestrate a social gifting campaign that encourages consumers to send gifts to one another in a highly public and viral way in order to become part of the “conversation” — again as a wider engagement marketing play.

The result, claims DropGifts, is that the platform generates 35 times more impressions per-sample offered than traditional campaigns, which of course they would say.

While the U.S. push is clearly new for DropGifts, the B2B element may even qualify as a pivot, even though its B2C play already relies on working with brands.

“DropGifts was initially a consumer facing platform offering free gift cards from many different retailers in one spot,” co-founder and CMO Marie Chevrier tells TechCrunch. “This worked well but it didn’t allow brands to take full advantage of their existing social media followings. Our B2B solution allows brands to integrate a fully-branded solution in their very own social media channels.”