Unwrap a Digital Birthday Gift

Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or other celebration, important dates can creep up on you leaving little time to get a gift. Last-minute gift givers, and even those who are prepared, can breathe a sigh of relief as websites now offer easy, one-stop digital solutions to gift buying.

Recently, Amazon.com announced a social gift sharing offer with the “Amazon Birthday Gift” feature. Through the program, someone can purchase an Amazon gift card and then invite mutual Facebook friends to contribute, adding to the gift. When the birthday arrives, the recipient is tagged in a Facebook post where they receive the gift card and get to read well wishes from friends who donated.

Facebook has also capitalized on digital gifts to appeal to users. Facebook Gifts lets friends pick out a gift, write a message and then surprise a loved one on a special occasion. Once the gift is received, the recipient can enter their shipping information and swap the gift for a different size if needed before it ships.

Gift cards generate important revenue for retailers, with consumers spending an average of $200 billion on gift cards annually. Similarly, e-commerce continues to grow, and it’s projected that consumers will spend $262 billion shopping online in 2013. Now, more and more retailers offer customers the ability to purchase e-gift cards, eliminating a trip to the store to make a purchase.