The company plans to release a second version on March 4th, 2013 with added features that enable consumers to link the app to Apple Passbook giving consumers more ways to store and use their cards.
About $1.7 billion of the $110 billion in gift cards bought in 2012 will go unused, according to estimates from research company CEB Tower Group. GroupGifting.com hopes to help lower that estimate by making it easier for consumers to manage and use their gift cards. An eGifter user can add their plastic gift card to their digital wallet in the eGifter app on their smart phone by scanning the bar code with their smart phone’s camera, or manually typing in the gift card number and pin. The plastic card is no longer needed, and can be recycled or simply left at home.
“Consumers will really benefit by having their cards with them at all times without having to overload their wallets,” said Tyler Roye, CEO of GroupGifting.com. Family members can share all of their cards on their phones so they all have a chance to use them at the first opportunity. In the next release of the app, users will also be able to store their loyalty cards.
Retailers are equally motivated to see gift cards redeemed because changes in laws have limited fees that used to eat away at balances. These laws have also enabled states to eventually take money left on cards by consumers. “Our scanner feature gets the plastic cards out of the proverbial sock draw and into the mobile commerce game,” said Tracey Klein, eGifter’s VP of Business Development.
As consumers become more accustomed to having digital gift cards stored on their smartphone, the company believes its scanner will be a welcome feature for both retailers and consumers. “Contrary to popular belief, retailers want consumers to use their gift cards,” said Klein. “They want someone with a gift card to come to their store or shop online and become a loyal customer, perhaps spending more than the balance on the card.”
The eGifter wallet is password protected for additional security. If a user loses their phone they can remotely wipe the cards from app from any web browser for additional piece of mind.
Once a card is in the digital wallet, eGifter can provide additional value to both the consumer and the retailer by promoting a retailer’s special offers or incentives to those members who have that retailer’s gift card in their wallet. “This provides an additional way for a brand to reactivate a consumer who might sit on a card for several months,” said Klein. The future roadmap includes tools that enable the brand to geo-target alerts to consumers who have their Gift Cards when they are near one of their retail locations.
eGifter currently offers eGift cards for more than one-hundred brands that users can give as gifts or buy for themselves. When given as gifts, eGift cards are posted to the recipient's Facebook wall on a specified date. Their Facebook friends can join in by making a contribution of their own, turning it into a group gift. Specific contributors can also be invited via email and SMS, both on the web and via the eGifter mobile app for iOS and Android.
Merchants (retailers, restaurants, ecommerce sites, etc.) interested in learning how eGifter can help them accomplish their social and mobile commerce goals can visit http://www.GroupGifting.com/
GroupGifting.com develops innovative social and mobile technologies designed to revolutionize the act of gift giving. Our eGifter app creates a fun and social experience for consumers while helping retailers unlock the viral potential of gift giving in social spaces. Founded in 2011 by a group of proven tech entrepreneurs, GroupGifting.com is based in New York. Visit eGifter at http://www.eGifter.com.