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The rise of Yiftee and Social Gifting: A nifty new way to give a lot more than thanks

December 18, 2012 12 comments

This holiday season your attention could be set on the newest category of the social media storm: Social Gifting where you can give real presents to your friends near and far. Social Gifting is defined by Social Maximizer as a platform through which people can give other people gifts through social networks. These gifts can come in the form of gift cards, or for goods directly.

Now many can wonder what is the difference between the social discounters like Groupon and social gifting? The social gift is a set price determined by the merchant of the product that is constant. They do not need to risk placing their products or services at a huge discount and potentially losing profits.

This new form of gifting has gotten a lot of media attention lately by the launch of Facebook Gifts. This service is mailed gifts that you can send to a friend. However, there are no local stores associated with the program and the gifts are not instantaneous because most gifts need to be shipped. Many of these gifts can be quite expensive like for example there are 6 cupcakes for $38 without including shipping and handling.

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Yiftee is a bright young company that began out of the daily deal craze in 2011 and is a star in the new social gifting category. They are allowing local shops to have an online presence against big retailers effortlessly and with no technology investments.

Yiftee = Gift + Nifty + Yipee

In their own words: a Yiftee gift is a real gift, often $20 or less, sent by smart phone or the web to say Thanks, Happy Birthday or Just Because. Yiftee gifts are the new way to acknowledge life’s special moments, in two minutes or less. Giftees receive them on Facebook, email or text and stop by a local merchant to pick them up.

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I had a conversation with Aldo Briano, one of the co-founders of this company, to ask him more about how they are carving out a space in the virtual world and how Yiftee came to be. The creators of Yiftee were appalled by the way local businesses were accepting very low margins to promote themselves in the group buying websites. They had many discussions with local mom and pop shops and determined that many small businesses did not know what they were doing and were just struggling to stay alive. As Aldo stated, “They have limited time, tight budget, aren’t tech savvy, inundated with marketing ploys, and swamped just making ends meet. These small business owners want to grow but finally realized that Deals of the Day don’t work. We set out to create a product that would bring foot traffic to local merchants with no discounting, bringing them new customers and helping them thrive.”

Yiftee has allowed merchants to promote their companies and products online effortlessly. The main advantages for merchants to use Yiftee over other services are:
1. Sells a product at a price they choose – No discounting required.
2. Brings foot traffic into the store
3. Free social and mobile sales channel that offers plenty of visibility
4. No Cost, No Commitment
Other benefits for merchants include that anyone can apply to be featured on Yiftee and there is no need to invest in new technology. They also have featured Merchants which appear first when consumers search for a gift and have videos featured on the website.

Their success and support from the community so far has allowed Yiftee to grow from their local area of Menlo Park to recently launching a nationwide site where you can build your own gift in many local stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

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I asked Aldo how does the app that promotes others promote itself? Yiftee’s best marketing tool so far has been through providing the best customer experience and relying on the promotions from the local communities. Yiftee has a program called Yiftee Connectors where they create groups of social influencers that will market Yiftee within their particular group through local forums, blogs, Next Door, etc. They also rely on the social nature of Facebook and how friends see each other using the app through this site. Their paid advertising efforts through programs like Google Adwords were not a successful venture for the company. They will keep using word-of-mouth strategies to fortify the brand.

What is the ideal future for Yiftee in Aldo Briano’s world? A local gifting craze and international expansion :).

To learn more about Yiftee I invite you to visit their website, and most of all download it and try it yourself! It is a free app and you can build your own gift and set your own budget or choose from the many gifts merchants have provided which are usually under $20.

So for this holiday season think about how much hassle it is to spend hours in stores or online looking for gifts and the extra cost of shipping. Become inspired by daring to go into the gifting future and Yiftee a nifty gift today! Yipee!

Check out the website: www.yiftee.com

Download the App

See the Featured Merchant Video

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