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American Greetings pushes graduation-inspired sales via mobile gift cards

American Greetings is drumming up sales for graduation-themed products by enabling consumers to use its justWink application to customize a virtual card, send it via SMS, email or social media and include a mobile gift card from a major retailer.

The company is tapping into the widely growing trend of mobile gift cards by allowing its customers to add them onto their specially designed greeting cards without having to purchase them in-person. This move will also likely spur more individuals to complete the entirety of their graduation gift shopping at American Greetings instead of simply purchasing the card from the brand and going elsewhere to buy other items.

“American Greetings’ decision to implement mobile gift cards into the justWink app is a smart, sales-driving feature not only for the greeting card business, but also invites retailers that have a partnership with American Greetings to have their gift cards sold, which will help promote the app and drive overall sales much quicker with a combined effort,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis.

Mobile-enabled pomp and circumstance
American Greetings is attempting to capitalize on the sales potential surrounding recent and upcoming graduations by promoting its mobile offerings to consumers who may not have the time needed to pop into a mall and purchase gifts from a bricks-and-mortar store.

Individuals wanting to create customized congratulations cards, graduation announcements or party invitations can download the Cardstore mobile app to add their own messages and photos to preexisting templates. American Greetings will then print the final design and mail the cards to recipients.

Additionally, consumers can add a retail gift card onto their personalized graduation greetings by downloading the justWink app, which also lets users superimpose personal messages or photos onto American Greetings’ cards. The cards can be sent free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, email or text.

Before users virtually send the card to the recipient, they may purchase a mobile gift card from a slew of popular retail stores to include alongside the greeting.

This functions as a convenient medium with which to buy a last-minute gift for a graduate, especially if the gift-giver is unsure of the recipient’s exact tastes and likes. Instead of venturing to a bricks-and-mortar store to purchase the gift card, the individual can complete the entire present-purchasing process in just a few keystrokes on a smartphone.

This option may also be beneficial for people who are unable to personally attend graduation parties, and would prefer to send their gifts through a mobile platform.

Mobile gifts keep on giving
A growing number of retailers and companies are ramping up their mobile gift card offerings in a bid to fuel additional sales and garner new droves of customers.

For example, Auntie Anne’s is angling for higher sales via a collaboration with digital gifting service Yiftee, enabling consumers to purchase mobile gift cards and send them to friends via SMS, email or Twitter, underscoring quick service restaurant marketers’ potential to capitalize on social shareability (see story).

Meanwhile, last year, Samsung Pay rolled out a new gift card store enabling users to purchase digital cards from popular merchants within the app and further the solution’s goal of dethroning competition in the mobile payments space (see story).

American Greetings is well-poised to enjoy an uptick in sales as the graduation season continues, especially if it heavily markets its mobile gift card add-ons to last-minute shoppers or those in need of millennial-friendly present ideas.

“Greeting card companies do need to find additional ways to drive revenue as the digital age progresses,” Ms. Troutman said. “Consumers will send a ‘free’ greeting card faster and more often than purchasing one, and the digital card business has far exceeded that of the paper cards and will continue to do so.

“Companies that work together stay more profitable. Those that enable and welcome partnerships with retailers that offer gift cards included in the greeting card send are going to be much more successful than those who stay as they are without thought for the millennials’ and up-and-coming generation’s buying habits.”