Gift card technology is always changing. Though the basic idea behind gift cards has remained unchanged since their introduction in the mid-1990s, there have been quite a few innovations in the ways that gift cards are used, delivered, and sent.
From digital gift cards, to “e-gift cards”, reloadable gift cards, and even cards like the VISA gift card which can be used just like a credit card, retailers and businesses are never satisfied with the current limits of gift card technology.
Gift cards have a wide variety of benefits for both retailers and consumers, so it’s no wonder that they continue to grow in popularity, and companies are looking for new ways to innovate and increase gift card sales.
In this article, EJ Gift Cards will take a look at 2 of the biggest innovations in gift card technology that are happening right now – and examine what they could mean for the future of gift giving. Read on, and learn with us!
GiftNow – Gift Cards That Let You Pick Out A Gift!
One of the more unique innovations in the gift card industry over the last several years has been the introduction of GiftNow.
GiftNow is a product introduced by Loop Commerce. It has been built to solve one of the only drawbacks of giving a gift card for the holidays – a sense that your gift lacks a personal touch.
Most consumers no longer think that gift cards are impersonal, but it can still sometimes be preferable to get a close friend, family member, or even a colleague something that’s special as a gift.
The problem is that it’s hard to know exactly what they want. Even you know what they want – such as a new gadget or a piece of clothing – you may pick the wrong brand, an incorrect size, or a color that they dislike. Then, they’ll have to return the item and pick something else out – which is seriously inconvenient during the holidays. And if they forget to return the item or lose the receipt, they’ll be stuck with it.
Gift cards solve this problem easily, and can even be resold if the recipient doesn’t need them. For example, you can sell Target gift cards online if you don’t want them. But GiftNow presents an alternative that’s both convenient and personal.
The way GiftNow works is simple, and retailers including Target, Michael Kors, and Saks Fifth Avenue have already begun using its technology. GiftNow is very similar to sending a digital “e-gift” card to a gift card recipient.
However, instead of selecting a dollar amount for the recipient, the purchaser of the GiftNow gift card is able to pick out a specific item for the recipient. Here’s how it works.
First, the gift giver selects an item online before sending it to the recipient. Then, the purchase is completed online. The details about the purchase can be sent directly to the gift recipient, who then has the option to select their preferred style, color, size, and change their shipping address, if required.
However, if the gift recipient decides that they are not interested in the item they received, they can exchange it for one or more products at an equal or lesser value, as they desire. If there is any money remaining after they have selected alternative products, they will receive a credit to the store from which the GiftNow gift card was purchased.
GiftNow Goes Physical – The Details!
GiftNow has been used online for several years – but now, the company is expanding into physical gift cards. Starting this holiday season, shoppers at 10 select Athleta stores will be able to use this advanced gift giving technology – through a physical gift card!
This process is quite similar to the online GiftNow process. Athleta customers will be able to browse the selection of items in the store, and then select a gift for their intended recipient. Then, they bring the item to the checkout counter, where it’s “loaded” onto a GiftNow card.
The item is then set aside and held until the recipient receives the card. Once the recipient receives the card, they have the option to accept whichever gift was chosen, customize it to their own liking, or exchange it – without any hassle.
This innovation helps customers who prefer shopping in stores, and may be interested in selecting a particular item to give to their loved ones – but do not want to risk selecting the wrong item, or putting their gift recipient through an arduous returns process.
It combines the best of both worlds for both personalized gifts, and gift cards. Gift givers can choose a present that’s thoughtful and takes the tastes and preferences of their recipient into account, and gift recipients can easily select a different item if they are not interested in their gift.
Currently, this technology is only being used at selected Athleta stores, and further expansions have not yet been announced. However, we would not be surprised to see it used in quite a few different stores in the future, due to several benefits.
First, GiftNow eliminates the returns process altogether. Gift recipients don’t need to worry about short return windows, complex return processes, or long lines. Instead, they can just quickly swap their item for gift credit – and pick out the items that they would prefer.
Next, GiftNow eliminates the impersonal stigma of gift cards. Even if you choose the wrong thing, it’s the thought that counts – and because your gift recipient can see that you were thinking about them, they’ll appreciate that, even if they exchange the item!
Finally, GiftNow can appeal to customers who would not usually buy gift cards. Older folks tend to be less interested in gift cards. But combining the power of a gift card with the traditional, brick-and-mortar gift selection process can boost the appeal of these unique gift cards, and help retailers sell more products!
GiftToken.io – The First Cryptocurrency-Based Gift Card Marketplaces
Gift card marketplaces are a fantastic innovation, and are relatively recent. In the past, if you wanted to sell Target gift cards or other gift cards, you were pretty much out of luck, unless you found a friend or family member who wanted it.
But over the last 5-10 years, online gift card exchanges have been built that let customers buy and sell gift cards, often at deep discounts. Now, it’s easier than ever to sell Target gift cards and other cards online.
And today, there’s a new way to buy and sell gift cards online. GiftToken is a brand-new online gift card marketplace that’s based entirely on cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies are purely-digital currencies that are used as a medium of exchange. The most well-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, but there are several other popular cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin and Dogecoin.
Many stores and online marketplaces have begun accepting Bitcoin. There have even been rumors that Amazon is set to start taking BitCoin payments in the new future.
One of the biggest challenges that faces cryptocurrency users is how hard it is to turn their currency into cash. Usually, they must use an “exchange” that lets them sell their currency to other users. This can be a long and drawn-out process, and must usually be done on a third-party website.
GiftToken has set out to make it easier for cryptocurrency users to turn their hard-earned cryptocurrency into readily-available funds – by allowing users to purchase gift cards with cryptocurrency.
How GiftToken Works
GiftToken has been built to make redeeming cryptocurrency quick and easy. Cryptocurrencies currently accepted include:
- Bitcoin Cash
According to a GiftToken press release, more cryptocurrency support will be released, as requested by community members.
Shoppers will need to purchase at least 10,000 GIFT tokens in order to begin purchasing gift cards from the online shop. Users who purchase more than 10,000 GIFT tokens will receive additional discounts on processing fees.
Then, GIFT tokens can be used to purchase digital gift cards directly from the website. GiftToken is set to carry hundreds of digital gift cards. They will sell Target gift cards, as well as cards from retailers such as Sephora, Best Buy, Apple, Amazon, Sears, and many more.
In addition, GiftToken will sell VISA gift cards and other “open-loop” gift cards, which can be used just like cash to pay bills and other expenses.
Gift cards purchased from GiftToken will be sent directly to the email addresses of users. They can then be redeemed either online, or in-person in stores that support the physical redemption of e-gift cards.
GiftToken will also offer physical gift cards, for consumers who prefer to redeem their purchases in-person. These physical gift cards can be sent to P.O. boxes or mailing addresses, with 24 hour shipping.
This represents a huge shift in the way that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin can be spent. In the past, users either had to purchase items only from stores that accept cryptocurrencies, such as NewEgg, or go through a complex selling process on a third-party exchange service.
By allowing customers to turn their cryptocurrencies into easily-redeemable, spendable gift cards, GiftToken is sure to change the way that cryptocurrency users convert their currency into spendable cash.
GiftToken is still in their pre-launch phase, with the site scheduled to go live on Thursday, December 4th. They also do not currently provide a method for users to sell Target gift cards or any other gift card for GIFT Tokens.
However, we would not be surprised if this functionality was added in the future, allowing users to easily convert unwanted gift cards into spendable cryptocurrency.
While it remains to be seen how popular and effective this service will be, it’s certainly an exciting innovation in both the world of cryptocurrency exchange and gift cards. If everything goes according to their plans, GiftToken will likely be the world leader in selling gift cards for cryptocurrency for the foreseeable future.
The Future Of Gift Card Innovation Is Bright!
Gift cards are still incredibly popular, and continue to top “most-wanted” lists both during the holiday season, and for the rest of the year. And with companies such as Loop Commerce and GiftToken introducing new, innovative ways to spend, sell, and purchase gift cards, the gift card industry has entered a new golden age of innovation.
It will certainly be very interesting to watch as these companies attempt to revolutionize the gift card industry. For more about innovation in gift cards, stay tuned to our blog! EJ Gift Cards will discuss any major stories about gift card innovation as soon as they happen!
And if you’re here to sell Target gift cards, or are interested in selling any other type of gift card, you’re in the right place. EJ Gift Cards is the best online gift card marketplace to sell Target gift cards.
We accept hundreds of gift cards from major retailers, restaurants, online stores, and even websites like eBay! If you’ve gotten a gift card that you don’t need this holiday season, don’t worry – you can turn it into cash via PayPal with EJ Gift Cards!
Our process is totally simple and easy. Just log onto our website, enter the details about your gift card, and get a reversible quote. If you like what you see, enter a bit more of your personal information, give us your PayPal info, and we’ll buy your gift card – just like that!
All of our payments are safe and secure through PayPal, and our customer service team is always happy to answer any questions you might have about the process.
So if you want to sell Target gift cards or any other kind of gift card, EJ Gift Cards is the best choice for you. With secure payments, great rates, and a simple selling process, you can sell gift cards online with confidence! Get started today.