GiftJoy Lets Users Purchase & Send GiftCards for Over 100 Retailers Through Alexa
GiftJoy is an Alexa skill that was launched earlier this week and is the first skill that allows users to purchase and send one another eGift cards from over 100 retailers. Some retailers included are Starbucks, Fandango, Sephora, Barnes & Noble, Applebee’s, Domino’s, Uber, Nordstrom, Target, Old Navy, Kohl’s, and Nike. A full list can be found here. Users can say “Alexa, open GiftJoy!” or “Alexa, ask GiftJoy to send a $25 Starbucks gift card to Mark” to initiate the skill.
Users will be prompted for order details through voice, including the recipient’s name, the gift card brand, and value, when the eGift card needs to be delivered, and a personalized greeting. Upon order completion, users will receive a text message that links to an order review and payment details. Saving your payment information is optional, and if users wanted to save their payment information the transaction would be “one-click,” just confirming the order.
Recipients will then receive a text message containing a link to the eGift card, which can be redeemed online or in-store. Recipients are also able to swap their eGift card for another brand, with no fee should they choose to.
Gift Cards Are the Most Popular Holiday Gift
Gift cards have been the most popular gift during the holiday season for over a decade. The National Retail Federation found that for the twelfth year in a row, gift cards remain the most popular items on wish lists. Sixty-percent of those surveyed in the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics Report have requested gift cards as a gift.
The decision to create an application based on the usage of the most popular holiday gift, and to create the application for the voice assistant with the largest market share, is a smart move by GiftJoy. When asked why a focus was set on gift cards, GiftJoy Founder, Lilly Gold, said not only the booming gift card industry influenced the use case, but it made sense for voice. “We focused specifically on gift cards because purchasing gift cards does not require seeing the product, reading a product description, or combing through online reviews; it’s perfect for ordering via voice as you know exactly what you’re buying. Gift cards are also a $160 billion-dollar market,” she said.
I had the opportunity to ask Gold a bit more about the development of GiftJoy. The decision to make an Alexa skill over an application on another platform was based on Alexa’s “dominance and ‘household’ name.” If you were looking for proof that Amazon’s Alexa everywhere strategy was working, there you go. However, Gold does say there are plans to develop a Google Assistant action as well. The goal was to launch in time for the holiday season, the peak season for gift cards, and then continue to enhance it.
When sending money through a still-developing platform such as a voice, it makes sense that consumers can be hesitant to give out their information, especially their banking information. It took approximately three months to develop GiftJoy, and Jifiti is used for the authentication. Jifiti is a gift-card solutions company and produces a platform that enables built-in payment, security, and fraud prevention, as well as the issuance and delivery of the branded digital gift cards. In addition, Jifiti allows recipients to instantly swap their digital gift card without any fees.
When asked about Amazon Pay and whether or not it was included in the development process, Gold stated, “It would be ideal to integrate Amazon Pay as that would make the experience that much more seamless. However, Amazon Pay’s policies do not allow for the sale of digital gift cards. They have made exceptions for some merchants, and we hope that will be an option for us in the near future.”