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Red Robin introduces mobile gift cards for last-minute shoppers

Casual dining restaurant chain Red Robin has introduced mobile gift cards for customers’ last-minute gift needs.

Red Robin is offering last-minute electronic gift cards that can be purchased online at the chain’s Web site or from its mobile gift card storefront. The cards can be personalized with text, images, and a voice message, and then sent with the click of a button.

Senders of the e-gift cards as well as traditional plastic gift cards can notify their recipients of their gift with a personalized message via mobile, email and Facebook.

Mobile gift cards catch on
Mobile gift cards are beginning to catch on with retailers and restaurants. Targets, Starbucks and Brookstone have all introduced mobile gift cards that let recipients pay with a swipe of their phones.

With traditional plastic gift cards a continual favorite around the holidays for gift-giving and many shoppers planning to do their last-minute shopping via mobile, this year could see a jump in the number of mobile gift cards purchased.

For Red Robin, Greenwood Village, CO, mobile gift cards makes sense as one-third of its online traffic comes from smartphones and mobile is playing an increasingly important role in its overall marketing strategy.

To take advantage of the growth from mobile, the chain has a mobile site, which was built by Usablenet and lets consumers view Red Robin menus and find nearby locations.

Red Robin also has an iPhone app that is a mobile meal customizer, letting users choose a menu item, add or remove ingredients as well as add sides, desserts and beverage before calculating the nutritional value.

Red Robin is working with Transaction Wireless for its consumer and business-to-business gift card program.

To promote the gift cards, Red Robin is offering a couple of specials.

Red Robin customers who purchase a $25 to $45 gift card will receive a free $5 Bonus Buck that can be used at Red Robin from the Jan. 1 through Feb. 29. The offer can be purchased up until Dec. 31.

Additionally, any gift card purchase of $500 or more will receive a 20 percent discount through Dec. 31.

On the BTB side, Red Robin will offer hosted online store fronts for bulk digital gift card ordering to extend its commercial gift card reach.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York