Austin, TX (PRWEB) June 01, 2011
QuickGifts today launched a new, expanded version of its integrated gift currency marketing platform that allows local and regional businesses to offer their in-store, pre-paid gift card programs across diverse online channels. The Austin-based company, founded in 2002, has spent the last decade systematically building comprehensive online solutions that allow small- to mid-size merchants to more fully capitalize on the $100 billion annual market for pre-paid gift currency. The company’s launch has been fueled by a nearly $1 million infusion of Series A capital and acceleration services led by Austin-based Thinktiv.
QuickGifts already enables dozens of corporate clients and nearly 250,000 active card shoppers to purchase and send branded gift currency from hundreds of local, regional and national merchants. The investment rapidly expanded the company’s sales and distribution partnering initiatives, which in the last 90 days have resulted in new partners selling QuickGifts solutions directly into an aggregate installed base of nearly 25,000 merchant locations.
“At QuickGifts, we are all about efficiently connecting local and regional merchants to billions of dollars of gift card sales that otherwise go to less personal national retailers,” said Stacy Young, founder and CEO of QuickGifts. “We are creating sustainable economic value for these businesses, while radically improving the consumer’s online gifting experience with enhanced choices and convenience.”
Consumers in the U.S. buy over $100 billion of merchant gift cards and pre-paid retailer gift currency each year. However, the vast majority of purchases are concentrated among the largest retail brands. Most established local merchants offer prepaid gift cards or certificates at their store location, but only a small fraction can afford the time and expense required to market, sell and fulfill their gift currency through online channels.
QuickGifts gift currency marketing and ecommerce solutions enable local and regional merchants to break down that distribution barrier and generate lucrative gift card revenue streams across online marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, email marketing programs and their business Websites. As opposed to daily deals promotions, which significantly undermine store profits in exchange for driving customer traffic, QuickGifts helps merchants create ongoing new revenue streams, while increasing profit margins.
To date the average merchant on the QuickGifts platform generates roughly $7,000 in new gift card sales annually. And when recipients redeem in-store, they spend an additional 50% to 150% of the original card value, depending on the merchant category, all at fully valued prices.
“Gift card sales are the most profitable transactions for our business,” said Brent Hammer, Chef and Managing Director of Hibiscus Restaurant in Dallas. “Last year, QuickGifts generated over $13,000 in online gift card sales for Hibiscus and we estimate that figure is doubled when you consider the additional dollars spent when those cards were redeemed at our location.”
The QuickGifts platform is comprised of four gift currency marketing and ecommerce solutions, which are supported by core merchant services including card fulfillment (online and off-line), card sale transaction processing and merchant settlement. QuickGifts solutions include:
- OneLink™ – A turnkey ecommerce and fulfillment solution that enables local and regional merchants to market and sell their in-store gift cards anywhere online.
- QuickGifts Card Mall – An online shopping destination that offers gift card shoppers the largest assortment of local, regional and national merchant cards on the Internet.
- Dibbs™ Currency – A closed-loop, pre-paid gift currency that recipients can redeem for any branded merchant gift cards available on the QuickGifts Card Mall.
- QuickGifts Corporate – An online rewards management solution that allows companies of all sizes to administer diverse business rewards and loyalty programs based on QuickGifts’ Dibbs™ pre-paid currency.
“New online and mobile marketing platforms are leveling the competitive playing field between smaller businesses and national brands, and we believe local and regional merchants are finally poised to capture a significant portion of the $100 billion annual gift card market,” said Steve Waters, Chief Strategy Officer at Thinktiv and Managing Director of the firm’s investment arm, Thinktiventures. “Based on its mature platform, comprehensive solutions and unmatched merchant value proposition, QuickGifts will be a category leader as that shift accelerates.”
QuickGifts provides comprehensive online gift currency solutions that enable local and regional merchants to more fully capitalize on the $100 billion annual market for pre-paid gift cards. For merchant clients, QuickGifts OneLink™ delivers gift currency marketing, ecommerce and fulfillment solutions that allow for cost-effective online distribution of existing in-store gift card programs. The QuickGifts Card Mall is a merchant card marketplace that provides consumer shoppers and corporate buyers with a trusted destination for giving the perfect gift or incentive. QuickGifts’ closed-loop gift currency, Dibbs™, can be redeemed on the QuickGifts Card Mall for hundreds of local, regional and national merchant cards, enabling unmatched gift personalization. QuickGifts Corporate combines robust rewards management tools with Dibbs currency and redemption options on the Card Mall, offering businesses the ultimate flexibility to support a wide variety of incentive programs.
More information about QuickGifts can be found at http://www.quickgifts.com.
Thinktiv is a venture accelerator delivering high-velocity, capital-efficient innovation to technology-enabled businesses. For customers ranging from seed-stage startups to well-known, venture-backed companies, Thinktiv rapidly evolves business strategies, transforms brands and delivers game-changing products that create competitive market advantage. Thinktiventures is the venture capital arm of Thinktiv, and makes focused investments of financial and human capital in exceptional venture acceleration opportunities. Visit http://www.thinktiv.com for more information regarding Thinktiv and Thinktiventures.
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