Retailers including Amazon.co.uk, Urban Outfitters and John Lewis have signed up to a new social gifting service that launches in the UK this week.
Facebook users can use the DropGifts service to mark their online friends’ special occasions by sending them gift cards from the retailers across Facebook. Gifts can be sent in one click using a range of devices, from PC and tablets to smartphone, using DropGifts’ mobile app.
Senders can choose from free or paid-for gift cards, valued at between £5 and £200, and deliver them via Facebook. The service, which is also available in countries including Italy, France, Germany, Brazil, Sweden and Japan, can also be used to send gifts relevant to the home market of friends living overseas. By this autumn, says the company, the service will be live in more than 20 countries.
The receiver of the gift card can redeem the voucher online or in store. Facebook friends can also club together and contribute to a voucher through the social media site.
For retailers this is a new way to sell, says DropGifts. They benefit from the extra sales, and from the exposure on Facebook, since every time a gift is given that will appear on their news feed, acting as a recommendation. They can also give gift cards to their most loyal customers.
David Van Reyk, joint managing director of DropGifts, said: “DropGifts allows people to give and receive real gifts via social media. We have signed up numerous top-name retailers already including John Lewis , Amazon.co.uk and Hotel Chocolat and they are telling us that they see this as a tremendously exciting new sales channel for their gift cards.
“We work with our retailer partners on a one-to-one basis and this ensures that the gift card redemption process is as simple as possible and fits with their existing in-store and online processes and procedures. This makes us a really attractive partner for retailers.”
Simon Williams, John Lewis’ head of corporate sales, said: “We are thrilled to be part of the launch of DropGifts in the UK. We see this as an excellent opportunity to share John Lewis gift vouchers via Facebook.”
Urban Outfitters’ head of digital marketing Europe Aurelia Noel said: “Being part of DropGifts is an exciting prospect for Urban Outfitters. Not only will it allow us to reach audiences in the UK, we are particularly excited about the potential reach of the platform internationally.
“It will allow us to connect with customers in France and Germany, where we are looking to expand our brand among fashion-conscious, digitally savvy consumers.”
Other retailers signed up for the launch include Hotel Chocolat, SpaFinder, luxury online retailers Boticca and Girl Meets Dress, Independent Cinema Tickets, which offers tickets to more than 230 UK cinemas, and Blurb photo books.