A gift card is the most desired item for holidays and birthdays. In fact, it was the most requested gift for the fifth year in a row, with 57.7% of people asking for one during the 2011 holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation.
Today’s retailers are offering more seamless gift card sharing and redemption with social gift card giving solutions, such as the one from Wrapp. More than 25 notable U.S. merchants now are using the Wrapp platform, including Fab.com, Gap, H&M, Loft, Pottery Barn and Sephora.
Wrapp offers consumers a way to give, receive and redeem free and paid gift cards across the social network, via mobile and web. Social graphs also can contribute to gift cards already sent to users via Facebook and the Wrapp app.
Within the last four months, more than 160,000 people have shared 1.3 million free gift cards with their Facebook friends via Wrapp. These digital gift cards were redeemable in the stores of 50-plus major retailers across Europe. They garnered approximately 15 million Facebook impressions, indicating a strong value proposition for merchants hoping to amp up their social media presence, stated Hjalmar Winbladh, CEO of Wrapp. Moreover, participating retailers have reported that each sale averages four to six times the value of the free gift card they allow Wrapp users to give to their friends.
Following a successful launch during November 2011 throughout Norway, Sweden and the U.K., Wrapp recently extended its social gifting platform to the U.S. Moving into this country was a natural transition, since it has the most advanced market in terms of social commerce and engagement, and the most mature for gift carding, according to Winbladh.
“The success of social gift carding in less mature markets, such as Sweden’s, has translated well to the U.S.,” Winbladh told Retail TouchPoints. “U.S. retailers especially are intrigued by the value of social gift carding as an effective sales acquisition tool and branding mechanism. Social gift cards are an efficient way to drive traffic to stores, encourage purchases, and most importantly, build brand presence on social networks.”
To purchase and send gift cards, consumers either download the Wrapp application for the iPhone or Android, or connect to it through their Facebook accounts. Once a gift card is purchased, it is sent with a customized message to the receiver via Facebook and/or the Wrapp app.
Boosting Online Presence And In-Store Traffic With Digital Gift Cards
Fab.com, a social commerce and daily deal eTailer, thrives on social sharing. By offering seamless access to digital gift cards, the merchant can expand its user base and reaffirm its position as a leader in the social media space, according to Scott Ballantyne, CMO of Fab.com.
“Social media is in our DNA,” Ballantyne told Retail TouchPoints. “The Fab.com model is focused on social engagement and sharing. In fact, a large percentage of our 3.5 million global members comes from social referral and discovery. We allow members to access information via Facebook and Twitter, and share items across these networks. By partnering with Wrapp, we’ll be able to extend into other countries and take our, model to another level.”
With instant Facebook integration, Wrapp helps retailers drive in-store purchases and provide easy access to gift cards, according to Winbladh. The app also features a digital wallet, which allows users to collect and organize gift cards easily, as well as notification tools, which remind shoppers to visit locations and buy items. This seamless accessibility to social sharing and gifting allows retailers to keep pace with the continued growth of omni-channel and social commerce.
“Retailers are trying to force consumers to purchase a specific way and through a certain channel, rather than how the shoppers want,” Ballantyne said. “By integrating with Wrapp, we’re allowing our loyal shoppers to discover items, have fun, and most importantly, share and shop for inventory.”
Other U.S. companies now leveraging Wrapp’s free and paid digital gift cards include Brooklyn Industries and WeSC, both fashion apparel brands, and The Wall Street Journal. Additional merchant participants will be announced within the next few months, Winbladh reported.
“Digital gift cards provide the opportunity for companies to combine social gift giving and marketing, and make it fun and rewarding for consumers to give and receive them,” Winbladh said. “They provide an easy platform for celebrating special occasions, but also align with a retailer’s need to obtain performance-based metrics and measurable in-store results.”