Guest Guru: Kapil Kale of GiftRocket
Gift cards have been an old standby gift for a long time. They’re great for last-minute but in a lot of ways, they feel like a gifting cop-out. And you’re usually restricted to buying them for only specific business that offer them.
You send a gift card in the form of a Pay Pal credit that can be used at any business that’s listed on Yelp.com. Simply choose the business, select the gift recipient’s name and dollar amount and then GiftRocket will send an email or Facebook wall update that notifies the recipient of their gift.
Given the fact that Kapil has his finger on the pulse of gift trends and technology, we asked him to share the latest trends in gifting and how technology can make your holiday shopping that much easier this year.
Gifting Trends To Take Advantage Of
Websites and iPhones are transforming shopping into an experience that’s faster, more convenient, and more extensive than ever before. Here are five ways to use technology to make gift giving a breeze.
1. Need a last minute gift and short on time?
Take advantage of quick delivery of products online. These days, retailers like Amazon.com are offering free 2 day delivery for their prime members. It used to be that you’d have to pay as much as $25 to have something shipped fast, but now you can pick something up just a couple days before the holidays!
2. Use websites to find stuff on discount.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best days for getting presents on the cheap. Things have changed. LivingSocial and Gilt Groupe are like a year-round Black Friday. Join their mailing lists and they’ll give you deals on luxury goods every morning in your inbox. That way, you won’t have to fight other shoppers for that last jacket in the mall.
3. Online gift cards and gift certificates.
It used to be that you’d have to run out to the store or call a restaurant ahead of time to get a gift card. But now, you can just go online and find one to any business you’d like. For example, my business, GiftRocket, focuses on online gifts that are intended for a specific business, but retain the flexibility of cash. There are other sites that allow you to print custom images on cards or send gift baskets.
4. Small or handmade gifts.
These days, you don’t need to go to an indie shop or an art fair to find handmade goods. Sites like Etsy sell art, crafts, and other designs made by hobbyists in their free time. A great gift idea is to find a photo of a loved one’s cherished city on Etsy, frame it, and send it along to them.
Technology always seems overwhelming at first. There are so many options. But by looking carefully, you can find a gift that is both easier to buy and a thoughtful gesture for the recipient.
Kapil Kale is a co-founder of GiftRocket gift cards. He blogs actively about technology and gift giving.