Gift cards are a way for consumers to buy merchandise and for gift givers to provide a gift that is more personal than cash. Companies are trying to make the Gift Card Experience more personal by allowing gift givers to purchase gift cards that can be redeemed for experiences instead of merchandise. Advertising Age highlights several of these experiential gift card companies in a recent story.
While consumers have begun to balk at cards offering static pre-paid purchases that lock them into one retailer, “experiential gift cards” from companies including Smartbox, Cloud 9 Living, and Xperience Days are becoming more popular, because they allow creativity for the giver and flexibility for the recipient.
These cards may benefit from the rise of social shopping sites like Groupon and LivingSocial that also make offers for experiences and activities as opposed to just merchandise. These sites may accustom consumers to buying gift cards that are redeemable for something other than store credit.
These gift cards are good at more than one retailer, which means that they tap into the power of Restricted Authorization networks that direct consumer spending while still allowing choice.
Read the full story at: http://adage.com/article/news/gift-card-trend-swaps-stuff-social-capital/149582/