If you do not regularly check important upcoming events on your calendar, you must have missed the important dates in the lives of your close friends, colleagues and maybe, family members.

These anniversaries, Black Friday sales, Yuletide season, Birthdays, Holidays, Ceremonies are yearly events that pop up anytime in the year. With the large budget already present, many people rarely separate funds for gift items. When they do, something else could come up to stop the gift- from insufficient funds, late gift picking, choice and taste selection among others. What then should you do so that you don’t get stranded when coming up with gifts for your loved ones? Have you considered digital gifts?

What are Digital Gifts?

Technology has changed the way we do a lot of things – from basic cooking to how we see the world too. One of the best things that evolved with technology is e-commerce, which has spawned into a new form of purchasing. Here digital gifts come alive. 
As the name implies, digital gifts are usually those presents you get for your friends, family and loved ones without ever having to be in the same physical location as them. Besides the obvious location advantage, there are a handful of other things that makes digital gifts an ideal pick for you in any gifting season.
digital gift items by nelson vincent

Let me share some of the biggest reasons here:
1. It minimizes Plastic Wrapping Damage
In my university course on Environmental Law, I learnt much about refuse disposal and how it affects the environment. If you care about the environment and understand the duties of the United Nations and her Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), you will know that we currently have too much plastic waste than we should be dealing with. Seeing as plastic is non-biodegradable, and this part of the world doesn’t have a solid recycling system in place, it just makes sense not to contribute to the environmental rot even further. This can be achieved with digital gifts since they do not need to be wrapped or unwrapped before sending them to a recipient.

2. It affords the ease of Delivery
Digital gifts can be sent as swiftly as possible. Since they are delivered online, you can purchase them at any time and send them instantly. This makes it more convenient and faster than other forms of gifts which can take many days to arrive, or not even arrive at all. Besides, you also get to save on shipping costs which would have been associated with many other gifts. Since an email delivery is what most of these digital gifts require, you can get a better value for your money when you purchase one.

3. Functionality
When gifting people, you are always faced with the decision of getting something which they will appreciate, and not just toss into the bin. This means evaluating the interest of the receiver, and deciding if they don’t have a substitute for what you are getting them too. This is why even the best of us get headaches when choosing the ideal gift for others.

4. You can engage in Last-Minute Purchase
If you forget to buy a gift for your best friend and it’s too late to do so, it will absolutely be a wrong idea to order a pair of shoes from an online shopping store or from your friend who would deliver in fourty eight hours. A digital gift can come in handy making you free from any fright of a storm in or losing your friendship.

Fortunately, the chances of discarding a digital gift are very low. They make for the perfect and most thoughtful presents for people who have material abundance too.

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Now that digital gifts interest you, it is funny that there is a wide array of digital gifts. As such, you will have just enough difficulty in picking these gifts as you do for physical presents- the specs, what your friend likes or your budget are the usual causes of this difficulty.

I have compiled a list of digital gift items below. They are specially selected ones that can be delivered the very instant you purchase them online. This way, even if you forget a friend’s birthday, omitted their name from the shopping list or any of such funny mistakes, you can always make up for it in the last instant.

1. Subscription Plans
The internet in this part of the world is a growing one and people make use of subscription-based services like never before. Thus, it would make sense to get someone a subscription to some of their favorite packages, platforms, apps, and services. Some of the subscription-based services, on and off the net, which you can gift a loved one this season include:
a. Cable TV – you can put a smile on someone’s face by handling their DSTv/ GoTv subscription for a couple of months. I recommend going for the premium plans on any of these, and subscribing in quarters (3, 6, or 9 months to a year). Trust me when I say they will always remember you for this gift whenever they are enjoying their content on TV.

b. Video Subscriptions: Services like Netflix are fast catching up in this part of the world. There are also other platforms like IrokoTV, LindaIkejiTV, IgbaTV SlingTV, YouTube TV etc. which can also function as cable TV alternatives, especially if you have friends who live on-the-go. With these, they can always have their entertainment handy on their smart devices whenever they want it.

c. Music Subscriptions: The average person loves music. It might not be the same genre you vibe with, but music seems to be the universal language that we all speak. So, while it is a nice idea to make a mix for someone as a gift, you might not know what kind of music they like that much. Thus, you are better off gifting them a fully-paid subscription plan to a music streaming service such as Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify etc.

d. Software Packages: This is recommended as a gift for friends who are entrepreneurs. Whether they work from home or have just launched their small business on-site, there would be certain apps that they depend upon for smooth sailing of their work. Depending on what kind of business your friends run, you can chip in your little quota by handling their next package subscriptions.

e. Applications: Every internet user should have access to certain utilities for proper protection. One of these is antivirus software which already comes with most laptops and desktops today (although on free trials). You can also help your friend get a subscription to a top VPN solution – this shows you are interested in their cybersecurity.

f. Other platforms – seeing as large as the internet has grown to be, I simply cannot cover all the forms of possible subscriptions out there in this piece only. Your friend could be interested in quality journalism (e.g. The Guardian), amazing writing (e.g. Medium), etc. Find what it is, and get them an appropriate subscription plan to match.

The best thing with some of these subscription plans is that you can also enjoy them alongside your gift recipient – and at a discounted rate too. Services like Apple Music and Netflix, for example, have cost-effective plans for multiple people using the platform under the same account. You can buy such multi-tier subscription plans and add the gift receiver too.
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2. Gift Cards
It is not too good to gift someone money alone and leave it at that. It shows that you are not willing to put in time and thought to get something meaningful. However, you can sometimes be stuck so much that letting the person get the best gift for themselves sounds like the ideal pick. In this case, gift cards make the perfect sense. Although it is not outright money, it works as a substitute. With them, you allow your loved ones to get themselves the perfect gift – and in a way, you got them that ideal present. Here are some of the gift cards I recommend:

a. Games:You can find the gift cards to their favorite gaming platforms and send it to them. This is money they can commit towards paying for a game they love – and you would be the reason for the smile on their faces anytime they play such a game. For this, you can choose to get Steam, Xbox and PlayStation gift cards. If the receiver plays on another console/platform, a simple Google search should yield possible gift card options for such platform.

b. Music and Videos: Gift cards can also be used to purchase singles and albums from different music streaming services. The likes of Netflix and other filming platforms use Giftcards too. For example, Amazon gift cards and the iTunes gift certificates can be used to purchase from Amazon music and Apple Music services respectively. 

c. Gadgets: Gadget-based Websites like Newegg also offer gift cards in different denominations. Depending on which ones you can afford, these gift cards can help subsidize your loved one’s next gadget purchase.

d. General merchandise: Your digital gift can become something physical by offering gift cards from general eCommerce stores like Amazon, eBay, and Best Buy. That way, you give the receiver an option to own material things.

There are way more gift card options than the ones mentioned here. If you don’t find the unique niche you’d like to gift your friend or family member in above, a Google search should turn up more results. Also note that gift cards can be personalized for whoever you want to give them to – so don’t forget to use this feature for added effects to your present.

3. Cryptocurrency
Just like digital gift cards, cryptocurrency is also a new-age alternative to gifting money. The best thing about cryptocurrency is that they are now being accepted by many eCommerce stores (some physical stores take them too). There is a high chance that the value of the cryptocurrency will go up in the future. Thus, see this as helping them make a valuable investment. In another light, gifting someone some coins could also be the perfect introduction they need into the digital currency. Even though they have been hearing about it, they can now see first-hand how it works – and you don’t have an idea where that interest could lead them to. For a caution, if you don’t know about cryptocurrency yourself, I don’t recommend dabbling into this option.

4. Courses
You can also help your loved ones develop themselves further in this time and age where knowledge is surely power. Additional knowledge counts and personal development gifts will always be welcome. There are a million plus courses on the internet, taught by people who know their onions. These courses are available for as low as #5000 estimated at $10. I will list a few of them below.

a. Udemy: This is arguably one of the biggest curators of courses on the internet currently. Udemy has just about everything you need to purchase for your recipient. The fact that they are now a known brand makes it possible for your recipient to flaunt the certificate they get from this platform on the successful completion of their course.

b. Coursera: This platform is amazing for the courses it offers in affiliation with top schools like Yale, Michigan University, and Stanford. Top companies (like Google, IBM, and P&G) are leveraging the platform to train their employees too. Their courses are at a very affordable rate too so you can consider it a better gift

c. PluralSight – With over 6000 courses in their catalog, PluralSight prides itself on being the one-stop-shop for most online web design courses and tutorials out there. Coming with offline access and live mentoring sessions too, you already know who benefits the most from this one.

d. Codecademy: By its name, this platform belongs to code inclined individuals. So, if your friend wants to start programming at their own pace, or you’re interested in helping them level up, you may look through Codecademy for possible courses they will be interested in.
e. Udacity – The world is tending towards data science and such technology-based courses. With teachers from leading companies like Salesforce and Facebook, you are sure your recipient is getting updated information from some of the very best in the business.

If you ask me, there is really no conclusion to a true digital guide. The best thing about this list is that it is not exhaustive because the internet is wider than we think. If you have ever given someone a digital gift or found one here which you’ll surely send to one of your friends/family, kindly share with me in the comments.