Blackhawk Network, the gift card mall subsidiary of Safeway Corp., has launched a gift card mall on Facebook. The company is tapping into the possibilities of the social networking site by offering virtual gift cards that can have more than one Facebook user contribute to a single gift card. A number of companies have recently begun offering gift cards through Facebook, and now the battle of the brands will begin as retailers work to make sure that consumers buy their gift cards directly from retailers rather than through card malls. Blackhawk’s product puts them on the cutting edge of making use of social media for gift card sales.
Through the Group Gifting feature of the new Gift Card Mall Facebook application, Facebook friends are now able to contribute as a group for a single gift card, thereby increasing the value of the gift card for the recipient. A personalized message can also be added to a card. Additionally, the social networking gifting aspect enables Facebook users to remind others about friends’ upcoming holidays and celebrations, further transforming the way people network and shop together.
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