Jules Mariano is a full-time freelance search engine and social media marketing specialist and a web developer specializing in web content development. He regularly blogs at http://julesmariano.com. Follow him on Twitter/Instagram: @julesmariano
Social gifting has recently become a buzzword in the online community due to its convenient and functional use. Remember the last time you always wanted to give your friend a gift but just have no time to do so because you’re all so tied up on your work all day? Then, there comes mobile apps that helps you send gifts to a friend and allows that friend to shop online (or even offline in some apps) and buy himself or herself that gift they want.
Retailers are looking for their next steps in the social and mobile gifting space. It has made clear that social gifting has penetrated social networking sites in the likes of Facebook and is continually trying to make the lines of ecommerce less distinct. Enumerated below are some of the leading companies that currently operate in this space. And because smartphone use is on the rise, in-app purchase is making social gifting even more convenient. Let’s take a look each of the following services one by one and what sets them apart from one another.
Karma. Karma, a service that’s recently been acquired by Facebook, is one of the leading social gift-giving sites around. It has gained brand awareness due to its ease of use and makes giving gifts a less arduous task.
How it works?
Say you were notified of a friend’s birthday, you will be presented with a list of gifts on the app. Choose which gift you want to send and the rest is done on the backend. The recipient will be notified either one or a combination of SMS number, e-mail address, or Facebook wall in the form of an electronic card. The recipient doesn’t have to have the app downloaded on his phone to be able to accept the card so that’s +1 for convenience.
If, say, you’re sending a stuffed toy and you’re worried about the recipient not liking your color preference, the recipient has the option to choose what color to redeem as well as where to send the item gift. All gifts will arrive at the receiver’s home wrapped.
The only thing the receiver does is update his address information so that the gift arrives at the right location. The app won’t require the recipient to provide or update his credit card information. Can you image how painless and convenient that is?
Jifiti. Jifiti has transformed the gifting world by combining the in-store shopping experience of the user with the online convenience for the friends and family who purchase the gift. As you go through stores, you will have the ability to use the Jifiti app to select items you love and share them with your friends and family through email, Facebook and Twitter. Your friends can either buy the gift for your or “chip in” a certain amount. Gifting has never been this easy!
How it works?
Jifiti works pretty much straightforward. While doing your window shopping you’ve spotted this irresistible dress you’ve always wanted to wear at your next company party, simply open the Jifiti app and find the store you’re in. When the store pops up, simply tap on it, scan the barcode in the product’s tag. After scanning, you will presented with an option to either share it with your friends either using your favorite social network, SMS, or email. You can also save a list of products you wished to have share everything with your friends with one click tap. Givers can either chip in or buy the whole thing for the person. The receiver then gets notification and tap “claim gift” to get the gift. Simple and fun!
Wrapp. MyGiftWand allows anyone to send free and paid gift cards to anyone to anyone within the Facebook network. Real free gift cards are given occasionally and can be claimed by users on the site. An app is available for iPhone and Android users.
How it works?
Wrapp is easy to use. Using your social network account like Google+ or Facebook, tap on the picture of the person you want to give a gift and select free or paid gifts to send. Compose a message like “happy birthday!” and enter your payment method to get billed. Using your smartphone tap Give icon or using your desktop/laptop computer, click Give button to complete the process. An email, Facebook message or SMS will be sent to the recipient to notify him or her of the pending gift card under his account.
MyGiftWand. MyGiftWand allows anyone to send free and paid gift cards to anyone to anyone within the Facebook network. Real free gift cards are given occasionally and can be claimed by by users on the site. An app is available for iPhone and Android users.
How it works?
By visiting My Gift Wand. GroupGifting.com you can connect your personal Facebook profile and start browsing friends who have upcoming birthdays. If you simply want to give someone a gift for any other occasion, just visit the Friends & Family and search through your friends you want to give a gift. Free gift cards are sometimes available so take advantage of them when they show up. Otherwise, either chip in or buy the whole gift for your family or friend fill out the payment information form to complete payment for the gift. The recipient will be notified via email or via his Facebook account or through the app itself if app is already downloaded in his device.
KangoGift. KangoGift works pretty much the same as the rest of the service above. What makes it unique is it allows LinkedIn into the picture which is useful if the user does not Facebook account for example.
How it works?
If you’re a giver, you can post your activities online by sharing Digital Certificates that tells to whom you have just sent a gift to. This gift giving solution is popular among companies who are harnessing the power of social media to motivate employees in the workplace.
Gift-giving is inherently social and that makes these types of platforms a lot more promising. While all sites and apps have almost the same and familiar service offering, each of them has something unique to offer to every user.
Retailers are at the forefront of the social gifting service and it’s only a matter of time before we see it as a full-blown and highly commercial e-commerce strategy.