If you are like me and you spend quite a bit of time hanging out on social networks and social media websites online, then you know that your friends’ and family members’ birthdays and other special occasions tend to pop up out of nowhere, and you are left to scramble and purchase something online and send it to them. We are internet power users, and tend to make most of our purchases now online rather than rely on the old antiquated snail mail system.
Well, if you are also like me and aren’t that creative when it comes to gifts, you tend to send more of your share of gift cards online. Now you’re in luck. You can now use the same social network or social media website that you are on all day long to buy and send gift cards online securely. E-commerce startup Friendgiftr is the first to launch a special new service that lets you send gift cards through your favorite social network. In fact, you can now send gift cards from retailers and merchants like the Gap, Pottery Barn, Barnes & Noble and Starbucks. And you can send gift cards through five different social media web sites: Facebook, MySpace, iGoogle, Ning and Bebo.
Friendgiftr’s one-of-a-kind network is the first and only social media-based online storefront to offer actual purchasable retail and restaurant gift cards to hundreds of millions of social media site users.
Using the Friendgiftr application, you can buy or send gift cards that are valued between $10 and $100. Send them to just about anyone, including friends and family members. It doesn’t matter what the social network is , the process of buying a gift card using the Friendgiftr application is the same to make a purchase. Just select both the card and the amount. Enters the recipient’s name, their email address, and a personalized message. Then put in your payment method. That’s it.
Friendgiftr uses the application programming interface (the API for us tech geeks) for each social network. Friendgiftr uses the platform that the social network web site created to host the application. For example, Friendgiftr uses Facebook’s API and can be accessed in several ways—by searching for “Friendgiftr” in the search bar; by going to the Applications link on the home page and typing in “Friendgiftr”; or by going to Friendgiftr’s fan page and clicking on “Install App.”
Friendgiftr allows gift card recipients to exchange the card they got for a gift card from any of the other merchants that Friendgiftr offers for no charge. So, if you send someone $100 from the Gap but the recipient loves Starbucks instead, they can exchange that $100 gift card from the Gap for a Starbucks gift card.
Friendgiftr’s order fulfillment process goes through another gift card wholesaler who then purchases the gift cards in bulk from each merchant. Friendgiftr makes money by getting a percentage of the amount of each gift card that is sold.
Friendgiftr features the nation’s largest collection of gift cards for sale from a single source, with over 120 leading brand names like Gap, Dominos Pizza, Pottery Barn, Starbuck’s, Chili’s, Red Lobster, Regal Cinemas, Barnes & Noble, Applebee’s, Crate & Barrel, Marriott, P.F. Chang’s, Dell, Macy’s, Sephora, L.L. Bean, Banana Republic, Overstock.com among others. Through the Friendgiftr application, social media site users can now send gift cards in amounts from $10 to $100 to anyone in their network.
“Introducing our network of gift card storefronts across numerous social networking sites is a game-changing step forward in the commercialization of social media,” commented Rob Carpenter, Friendgiftr CEO. “It’s also a cornerstone of our unique business model. We partner with the companies whose gift cards we sell, which keeps our operating costs minimal, and unlike most web-based start-ups we have multiple viable revenue streams, including commissions from cards we sell through a growing number of storefronts, slotting fees, advertisements and affiliate marketing programs.”
Another part of Friendgiftr that make it unique is the fact that Friendgiftr is the only online gift card merchant to allow gift card recipients to exchange the gift card given to them for a gift card they prefer–from any of the merchants Friendgiftr offers, at no charge, and without the buyer knowing. Recipients can even split the gift card amount across multiple merchants’ cards, to make sure they get the gifts they really want. For example, someone who received a $50 Macy’s card can exchange it for a $25 card for Starbucks and a $25 card for Chili’s, or five $10 cards from five different stores.
With the simplest user interface of any online gift card source, Friendgiftr lets social media site users buy and send gift cards in just three simple steps: select the card and amount, enter the recipient’s name, email and a personalized message, then pay via Friendgiftr’s secure online payment platform.
Friendgiftr is the premier digital storefront company currently offering over 120 of America’s favorite retail and restaurant gift cards through its website and social media sites. Friendgiftr won the grand prize prestigious Henry Kravis Award in venture capital and entrepreneurship, and placed first in a VentureBeat.com technology trends competition held at the prestigious DEMO Conference for the concept of merging social networking and e-commerce. Friendgiftr partners with iCard Systems, a leading supplier of electronic and physical gift cards. Headquartered in Hollywood, CA, Friendgiftr is a Rob Carpenter production.