What do holiday shoppers do when they don't know what to get for someone on their list? They buy a gift card.
According to CEB, consumers purchased more than $118 billion in gift cards during the 2013 holiday season, and by 2015, gift cards will account for 18 percent of total holiday spending. Of those gifts, the market for electronic gift cards — those that can be sent and redeemed online — is expected to hit $5 billion by the end of this year.
For small retailers with a limited budget and IT staff, offering an e-gift card may be out of their technological wheelhouse. Digital gift solutions provider Yiftee recently released a free tool to help these businesses join and compete in the growing market for electronic gifts. The Yiftee eGift Button can be added to any small business's website, and instantly allows the merchant to sell gift cards that can be sent to recipients via email or text. Participating businesses will also be listed on Yiftee's website and mobile app.
"Most independent merchants can't afford the time or expense it takes to create an online gift card sales channel," said Donna Novitsky, CEO of Yiftee. "Our e-gift cards, whether offered on the merchant's website or on Yiftee.com, are free to merchants [and] require no new IT, no gift card tracking, no revenue sharing and no stale assets on their books."
Yiftee e-gift cards are stored as a digital MasterCard voucher on the recipient's smartphone. The recipient receives weekly reminders of the gift for 90 days until it expires or is redeemed. When the recipient is ready to make a purchase, the digital voucher can be entered online or at the point of sale as a regular MasterCard credit card transaction. [For a side-by-side comparison of the best POS systems, visit our sister site Business.com]
Novitsky believes that the ability to offer an e-gift card will be a big boon for retailers this holiday season, especially as the gift card industry and e-commerce continue to grow.
"Last year, 1 in 3 holiday e-commerce purchases were made from a mobile device, and e-commerce holiday sales totaled $47 billion," said Novitsky, citing ComScore research. "We want to help merchants to be leaders in this emerging marketplace that is full of opportunity and increased sales."
To learn more about the Yiftee eGift Button or to sign up, visit Yiftee's website.