Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Gift cards go interactive at Amazon.com

November 19, 2008

Feeling guilty about giving an uninspired gift card in this uninspired holiday season? How about a little pizzazz?

Amazon.com is dressing up its electronic gift cards this year, partnering with HDGreetings, which makes animated, high definition e-cards.

 That means an Amazon gift card this season can include your own photos, text, or music.
    
“This is definitely a step up for us in terms of the personalized content,” said Michal Geller, Amazon’s director of consumer gift cards.
    
Experts have been predicting that the once-hot holiday gift card market will be down this year, given the flood of bargains shoppers can find in stores. 
    
The National Retail Federation predicted this week that sales would fall 6 percent from last year’s levels and found that gift card shoppers planned to spend less on the cards.
    
But Amazon’s Geller said the company was “relatively bullish” on the prospect for gift cards this year, saying that as yet, he had noticed no behavior changes in its card purchasers. 
    
HDGreetings CEO Jennifer Sharp said it can take hours of work and cost up to $20,000 to produce each holiday animated card on offer at HDGreetings.
   
But it takes only a few seconds to personalize the cards, inserting photos of the gift giver or friends directly into a 3D winter wonderland. 
    
Moreover, the animated greeting can also be viewed on the iPhone, because HDGreetings’ platform is player-neutral.

Image courtesy of HDGreetings

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