The Art of Gift Giving in the Digital Age

When it comes to giving gifts, the key is to make it feel personal. I love picking out the perfect gift for people whether its for a birthday, to celebrate a new job, or just because. Since a majority of the people I buy gifts for don’t live in the Boston area, I normally resort to ordering a gift online so it can be mailed to them directly. I avoid the post office at all costs. Although almost all online retail stores offer the option to “gift wrap” and include a note, some online platforms and apps are doing a better job of making gifts more authentic and way more personal than traditional retailers, as well as being incredibly convenient. Here are a few examples of apps and websites that are digitizing the gift giving game.

Greetabl:

Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 7.53.51 PM.pngGreetabl’s slogan is “online gifting just got personal.” True to their slogan, Greetabl helps users send gifts with personalization through design and notes. Users start by picking a creative box for the gift. The designs are from different artists and change every season. The site even cross promotes with its designers by providing links to to designer’s personal webpages or social media accounts. Next, users pick out a gift ranging from $3 to $20. The gift selection changes over time, but the point is to keep it simple and sweet. Greetabl isn’t designed for users to peruse pages upon pages of potential gifts. Greetabl also offers customers the option to upload photos that will appear on the box and can be torn off and kept. In the bottom of the box there is a space for a personalized note. If you are having writer’s block Greetabl has you covered with pre-crafted messages to make it easy. Simply pay for your box, and Greetabl takes care of the rest. The site even prompts users to enter in all important birthdays of friends and family so Greetabl can send you a reminder to purchase a gift for them. Overall, Greetabl showcases the intersection between design and digital business through gifts.

Here is a photo’s from Greetabl’s Instagram showing the box and customization elements.

greetabl

BloomThat:

bloomthatFresh flowers – what a simply, yet classy gift. BloomThat is an app that makes it ever so easy to send flowers to friends and family. The company delivers fresh, individually crafted bouquets in less than 90 minutes for cities that offer same day delivery – San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. Instead of offering an overwhelming selection of choices, BloomThat values simplicity and offers a handful of options that use the best flowers available for a particular market. Wrapped in recycled burlap and tied with a pretty bow, these local blooms are the perfect way to brighten someone’s day or to say congratulations or happy birthday. The bouquets start at $35 and can be ordered within minutes on your smartphone. Also users can link their address book for extra convenience.

 

Gyft:

Gyft is taking the gift card industry from plastic to digital. Although gift cards are a pretty generic gift, Gyft makes it easy to send gift cards to friends while also allowing users to store their unused store credits within the app. You no longer have to worry about losing your physical gift cards, plus all current e-cards are kept on your smart phone making it easier to track funds and remember to use your credits. Also, Gyft is a perfect solution for a really last minute gift. Over 200 retailers like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and Sephora are available for purchase and can be delivered to friends in no time at all. Lastly, Gyft Rewards is the company’s loyalty program where users can earn and use points to save on gift card purchases. 1 point is worth a $0.01 discount.

gyft

Felt:

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-7-16-45-pmLastly, let’s not forget about the importance of the the card. I think everyone recognizes the power of a handwritten note, but it is 2016 so there is an app for that and it is called Felt. Felt is a custom card making app and is self described as “snail mail for the modern world.” Users can include photos, handwritten text, and other designs or filters. The app offers the option to type your message if you prefer, but personally I think handwritten is nice. Felt even gives users total design control of the envelope.

Personally, I love Felt and it is my favorite app in this post. Users can select the day they want the card to be delivered. So if you are a planner you could customize all your birthday cards for the next few months while ensuring they are delivered on a person’s birthday and not weeks in advanced. The prices are comparable to a regular Hallmark card ($3 for a card with one square, $6 for cards with up to 4 squares), you can avoid a trip to the post office, the app is easy to use, and the cards are super cute, which makes Felt a great company to use.

felt

So the next time you are in need of a perfect gift or card and don’t want to go through the hassle of going to a store or the post office check out these sites and apps for all your gift giving needs! Happy gifting!

5 comments

  1. francoismba · ·

    Awesome post! It’s amazing how far we’ve come from traditional snail mail. I will definitely utilize these apps in the future – my family is spread out all over the US so it’s difficult to personally deliver gifts. I’m personally a huge fan of handwritten notes and cards so I love Felt’s business model. I always find myself forgetting to stop at the drugstore for birthday and holiday cards so this app with save me the hassle. In regards to the handwritten message, do you take a picture of your handwriiten message or do you write it directly on your phone? Also, I like that you can include personal pictures. This differentiates itself from Hallmark cards that have such generic photos and sayings. I look forward to seeing how these apps work in the future.

    1. cattybradley · ·

      You write it directly on your phone – and it actually comes out so much better than you would think. You can write it in a larger size and then shrink it down to fit the size of the card. I have used Felt many times and have always been pleased with how it turned out! @francoismba

  2. This was a really interesting post! Gave me some interesting ideas to consider when I start buying holiday gifts…

    This definitely highlighted a classic millennial dilemma: how to be (or appear to be) thoughtful while still shooting for maximum convenience. Some of these services eerily reminded me of the movie HER, where the protagonist worked for a company that wrote all of peoples letters for them. I guess at least these services have their hearts in the right place.

    If you know of Greetabl and received a gift from it though, how would you feel? Sad cause your friend used a service to make a gift appear super custom, or glad that they had gone through at least that much effort?

  3. mashamydear · ·

    Nifty post about gift giving! I recently ordered my mom flowers for her birthday through the website Urban Stems, and it was so incredibly convenient. There were only a couple of choices for bouquets, but all of them were so beautiful, and I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the options like I usually do when I’m giving someone a gift. Also, when I found out my mom wasn’t going to work the day of her birthday (which is where I scheduled the delivery), I called and asked for an emergency same-day delivery and they accommodated my order swiftly and smoothly.

    I’ll definitely try Felt too! I spend a fortune at Papyrus and always seem to forget to mail the cards I buy (and I never have postage stamps too). I think giving gifts is one of the sweetest things and it’s cool to see digital platforms that simplify the process.

  4. Great post. I had never heard of most of these. Thanks for keeping me up to date.

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