Whether you’re the type of person who relishes the quest for the perfect gift or someone who panics at the thought of giving gifts, tech can improve your gift-giving experience. Tech tools can not only make the process easier, but can also increase the chances that the gift you give will be appreciated.
Gift giving can be challenging: deciding on a gift, purchasing, wrapping and then delivering the gift can all be stressful. These apps and websites can offer solutions to make each step of the gift-giving process easier.
Gyft is a free app that lets you purchase gift cards from hundreds of merchants and send them to your friends via Facebook, Twitter, text message or email. Choose from retailers such as Amazon, Sephora, Bath & Body Works, Build-A-Bear, GameStop, Gap, Toys “R” Us, among many others.
Download the app and then sign in using Facebook, Twitter or Google. If you link the app to your Facebook account, it can remind you of your friends’ birthdays. You can also add your contacts to the app.
This video from Gyft shows you how it works:
Choose a friend to send the gift card to, then choose the merchant. You can select the amount of the gift card in different denominations. You can include a personalized message. Next choose your delivery options, either Facebook, email, text message or Twitter.
Gyft also stores the gift cards you receive. You can scan a gift card into the app so you have it handy whenever you visit a store. Gyft even lets you re-gift a gift card you have received.
This service only works in the US.
Gyft is helpful for: giving gift cards and keeping cards you receive handy when you shop.
You can download the Gyft app for free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch at the iTunes App Store. Gyft gift cards can be redeemed on an Android phone by using the web browser. An Android app is planned soon.
When I first wrote about Giftly last year in Giftly – The Next Generation of Gift Cards, this gift-giving service was only a few months old. Since then, Giftly has grown both in sales and in the number of features they offer.
Giftly lets you purchase gift cards to any store that accepts credit cards. If you want to send a far away friend a gift card to a restaurant in her hometown, Giftly can suggest the best rated restaurants in her area.
To redeem her gift card, she doesn’t need to show anything to the merchant, the value of the Giftly card is added directly to her credit card when she uses her Giftly. You can be notified when your friend uses her Giftly.
A Giftly can be used anywhere in the world.
Tim Bentley, CEO of Giftly, recently told me about the many changes to their service. Giftly has launched an iPhone app so you can give a Giftly on the go. You can also connect the app to Facebook to be reminded of birthdays and send a Giftly through Facebook. The app can also notify you about new Giftly giving opportunities and help you keep track of the Giftly gifts you’ve sent. You can send a photo of the gift you’re sending by using the Giftly app.
Bentley also let me know that two weeks ago the company began offering printable versions of Giftly gifts and that 40% of customers are now choosing that option. He also said that the most popular Giftly gift is dinner at a local restaurant.
Giftly is especially helpful for: giving gifts to local stores and restaurants.
Since I wrote about Wantful in October Wantful – Giving Gifts in Style, the company has been busy upgrading its gift giving service.
With Wantful, you choose 16 gifts that are included in a high-quality gift book that is sent to the receiver who can then select the gift they want to be sent to them. By popular demand, Wantful has added a feature that lets you send a gift directly without sending a gift book first. Wantful also is launching an iPad app due out next week.
In celebration of the launch of their iPad app, Wantful is offering free shipping until December 24.
Wantful is helpful for: giving high-quality gifts when you aren’t certain what the receiver would like.
Soon after Karma: Your Gift Connection! was published, Karma was acquired by Facebook. In September, Facebook launched its gift-giving service based on Karma so you can send a gift directly from Facebook to any of your Facebook friends.
To use Facebook Gifts, go to Facebook and head to a friend’s Timeline either from your computer or from the Facebook app on your mobile device. When you post on their Timeline, you will see an option to give a gift. You can select from a variety of gifts in different categories.
You can choose the color, style, etc. or leave the choice up to your friend. After you send the gift you can post the “wrapped gift” on their Timeline. The actual gift isn’t revealed until they are notified about it.
You don’t have to know your friend’s address to send a Facebook gift. They can fill in the shipping address when they receive notice about the gift.
Facebook Gifts are helpful for: sending gifts to Facebook friends, especially when you don’t know where to send a gift.
Don’t stress about giving gifts. Let tech help make the process easier.
Have you used any of these tech tools to give a gift? Do you wish someone would give you a gift using one of these services? Let us know in the Comments section below!
*Gifts image by ammer from freedigitalphotos.net