Digital Gift Cards – Expanding the Horizons of Gift Giving

Come Christmas time, the trend in gift card purchases dramatically increases for all corporations and businesses, alike. While thinking of a gift, for someone I know, the idea of a gift card came to mind. Real original, I know. But, how could I get this gift card to its destination, if I was unsure of the mailing address? Hmmmmm. Being that this person is a Peet’s Coffee fan, I decided to surf and seeif they had any digital gift cards that I could email to him. To my surprise, they did have them. Last word from the recipient was that he inteded to purchase a Peet’s hat, since he was already stocked up on his coffee beans.

If you regularly follow this community, I’m sure you will have figured out that the recipient was none other than, Chris Pirillo. This digital gift card made it possible for me to send a gift without actually having to go into that store. Going to Peet’s to make the gift card purchase would have proven to be an especially difficult/expensive task, since Peet’s coffee houses are not in Texas. The gift card was emailed in HTML format so that you get some graphical bang for your buck (if the recipient can receive HTML format emails). It also prevented me from having to mail out a gift card.

How long before plastic gift cards become phased out? Is it possible that stores will begin to carry mini-terminals, where customers can login with a universal shopping ID of sorts, to redeem their digital gift cards, or even make a digital gift card purchase? I think we will see more regional/specialty online storefronts expanding their gifting horizons in the near future.

Hiiii Yah!
Sensei of The Daily Samurai