Marketers are broadly cognizant of the various tactics they could deploy to attract and engage consumers, but it seems that a new channel, with strong potential, is emerging that is worth keeping an eye on.
2012 was the year in which social gifting started to take off, and it was not just Facebook that saw it. Social gifting, which gives brands greater sales opportunities and a new path to potential customers, is going to be even bigger this year, according to an article I saw in the Marketing Week.
There are already several providers of e-gifting services in the digital space. Facebook was one of the first to dive into the world of social gifting after snapping up gift app Karma last year to create Facebook Gifts and the more recent Facebook Cards, which is a way for its users to send gifts to friends, such as a bottle of wine, clothing or an iTunes gift card. Facebook Cards has already lured brands such as beauty products retailer Sephora and homeware store Target, which now benefit from an industry that is forecast to hit $11 billion in 2014.
Another e-gift provider is Wrapp, which is available in eight countries, including the UK, and allows its users to send gifts to people with free and paid digital gift cards. According to its CEO Aaron Forth, e-gifting is still unpopular with UK brands compared to the US, where the new channel is coming on fast, however, it is gaining traction every day and starting to engage more and more businesses.
Brands embracing social gifting can make use of a range of benefits, such as improved sales opportunities, peer to peer sharing and better positioning for sales promotions. Some e-gifting platforms also feature a B2B service option, allowing brands to send free gifts to mailing lists of interest.