My sister’s birthday is coming up and I’m wondering what to get her. I went online to a number of her favorite stores and saw many had options to virtually send gifts. This idea has been around for a while as I remember years ago my aunt sent me a $5 gift card to Starbucks over Facebook. But now, the options are almost endless. In fact, there are now sites like Giftcards.com that are fully dedicated to sending gift cards virtually and being able to personalize both the cards and attached messages.
I remember when I originally received my first e-gift and thought it seemed somewhat disingenuous as it seemed easy to send something as it was probably a last minute thought. They said it was my birthday on Facebook and rather than sending something in the mail which might take too long, they decided to just add it to their cart and send it over the internet. But now it seems not only simple and easier for me to use, but also more convenient and cost efficient for the sender as well. Rather than worrying about the cost of shipping and making sure it gets to the receiver in time, the sender just needs to send it immediately with a note attached or plan for it to send at a specific time. This also gives the receiver an opportunity to choose how to spend it because we all know what a hassle it is to return unwanted gifts and how awkward it is when you don’t like what the person got you. This way you avoid awkwardness and you don’t end up wasting your time.
This isn’t just limited to the US, similar to how we gift gifts for christmas and birthdays, the Chinese give gifts of their new year. This past year 75% of Chinese citizens are giving digital red envelopes of gift money which is up from 30% last year. This global ability to send and receive gifts adds a level of interconnectedness and allows for people to give and send much more easily when you are across the world.
If you have someones birthday or even mother’s day (that’s sneaking up on you don’t forget) here are a few options you can choose from.
Digital Gift Cards
These are very basic. You can either go to a website and select gift card options to either have the physical version sent to a specific address, or you can select e-gift cards which allows you to send them directly to the recipient’s inbox where they can use the gift cards straight from their phones.
Gift Redeemable Online
Lastly, you can get actual gifts sent virtually. For instance, Barnes & Noble allows you to gift both books and apps for its tablet; just click on the “Buy As Gift” option next to the Buy Now button. Additionally, on Apple you can gift specific movies, tv shows or songs which are redeemable online.
WINNER of Digital Gifts: Shop.com
eGifts from SHOP.COM allows your gift giving to be right on target. eGifts allows you to send a personalized set of gift choices to your recipient and have it delivered
immediately. This way you can get something you know they will love, but also something that is in your price range and they can see that you put time and effort into the choices.
Overall, when you are in either a time crunch or working with long distance, digital gifts are a perfect alternative. That said, nothing is as meaningful as a made gift (think scrapbooks or picture frames) or a gift that you especially picked out and are able to hand deliver. Also, cards/personalized notes either attached to these digital gifts or with any gift, is usually the most important part!