One of the biggest social commerce trends on Facebook — especially leading up to the holidays — is gifting, including through the use of gift cards. Mobile application Gyft takes those plastic gift cards and allows users to scan them and send them to Facebook friends through their smartphones.
Gyft, a mobile iOS app, launched in September at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco and has already seen great success. The company notes that in its first month, $1 million worth of gift cards were uploaded, with more likely to come as Christmas draws near. Gyft allows users to buy, send, store, and organize gift cards electronically, on their cell phones.
Gyft Co-Founder CJ MacDonald said the idea for the company came about after he got married and he had a massive reserve of gift cards. He figured that there should be a way to regift some of these cards without the awkwardness. MacDonald knew that with every birthday or holiday, people had gift cards they probably weren’t using, and businesses would much rather have someone make use of those gift cards instead of having them lie dormant in wallets or drawers.
Gyft announced Tuesday its “Gyft It,” program, allowing users to send unwanted gift cards to any of their Facebook friends, or anyone with an email address or phone number. This way, if a person received a gift card to a store that’s too far away or one they don’t like, they can seamlessly transfer the balance to a friend. Users don’t have to worry about mailing cards. Gift cards also wouldn’t be personalized with greetings or seasonal-specific designs.
MacDonald explained to AllFacebook how Gyft aims to take away the stigma from regifting and make it easier (and cooler) to give gifts via Facebook:
There are a lot of people who get gift cards for holidays and birthdays and special events, and there are times where somebody might get you a gift card and you don’t have the store nearby or you don’t really like the store. Like if they give you a Home Depot gift card and there’s not a Home Depot nearby, but there’s a Lowe’s. The interesting thing with what we’re doing is we want to make it really easy and consumer-friendly. Once it’s on the phone, it’s really easy to send that off to somebody else and regift it without them ever knowing that you’re regifting it.
Gyft is currently available in the Apple App Store, but the company is working on a version for Android in the near future.
Readers: Have you ever used an app to give a Facebook friend a gift card?