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Grubhub offers buyable, customizable e-gift cards in time for holiday season

Grubhub is gearing up for the holiday season with new customizable e-gift cards that users can send to each other through the food ordering service’s mobile app.

The promotion works across both Grubhub and Seamless, since the two merged in 2013. Grubhub is hoping to capitalize on the holiday shopping season by creating a discrete product made to be giftable.

“Diners will be able to use the gift cards on the Grubhub and Seamless mobile apps,” said Lindsey Ruthen, a Grubhub spokesperson. “Our gift cards are in e-gift card format and each have their own unique code that diners can use on diners can use at checkout whether they order through our app or online.”

Mobile gift cards
With the holiday season looming large in the minds of brands and marketers, companies such as Grubhub are doing everything they can to promote themselves as shoppers head out to get their holiday shopping done.

Grubhub is hoping to position itself at the forefront of the holiday shopping time with its new customizable e-gift cards. The food ordering platform is offering a readymade gift that users can customize to their liking, removing much of the work of buying a unique gift for their friends and family.

The gift cards can be purchased through a specialized, mobile-optimized page on Grubhub’s Web site, or through its mobile application. The cards can be purchased at any value between $10 and $1,000.

The gift cards available include readymade cards that just require a recipient and a value, or a more customizable option, letting users add their own images, text, special message and other personalized features.

The gift cards can be used through Grubhub and Seamless and have no expiration date, meaning they will last long beyond the holiday season.

The gift cards can also be purchased in advance and set for delivery at a later date, allowing customers to get some of the holiday shopping out of the way now by purchasing the cards and setting them to deliver closer to the actual holidays.

Holiday gifts
The holiday season is by far the biggest shopping time of the year, far ahead of back-to-school which is the next biggest time for brands and retailers.

Grubhub, and by extension Seamless, could be in a favorable position for readymade holiday gifts by nature of being popular among the workforce. Seamless in particular has a corporate-friendly business model, letting companies offer Seamless to their employees under one big joint billing account.

In industries where many people are using Seamless and juggling a large amount of professional contacts, a Seamless gift card could be the perfect thing to send to a colleague or contact for whom a small gift is appreciated but not requiring a trip to department store.

Grubhub has previously leveraged mobile to make employees at partnering restaurants’ lives easier with an app that let them manage incoming orders seamlessly (see story).

GRubhub has also spoken about what kinds of restaurants get the most traffic and are driving the on-demand model it employs at this years Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2016 panel. Steven Tristan Young, vice president of growth marketing at GrubHub, talked about quick-service restaurants such as Chipotle which drive huge sales (see story).

“What’s great about these gift cards is that anybody, not just current diners, can give or receive a Grubhub gift card,” Ms. Ruthen said. “This means that we are able to reach more consumers across the country while also providing a great gift. For example, if you know of somebody who just moved to a new city, you can always buy them a gift card so they can gift them a little taste of home from great local restaurants.”