Just when you thought e-commerce was the best thing invented since sliced bread, another solution to deliver a gift from the comfort of home is invented. If you have used email and eCards (electronic-greeting-cards), electronic gift giving is another option to add to your Internet shopping abilities. We’ve all gone the plastic gift card route when we ran out of time to find a gift appropriate for some special occasion. We waited till the last minute to send a perfect gift just to discover we forgot a size, weren’t sure of some preference or another or; flatly didn’t take the time to shop at a brick and mortar or online shop.
Well now, you can select an actual personalized physical gift to send to that someone special. You’ll look like the important event was never forgotten because of the boatload of other distracters that came about. You know what I’m talking about – job deadlines, medical emergencies, school events, car repairs, family dilemmas, sports events, detours or a million other sidetracks. I know you love your spouse but did you ever sleep in on say Valentines Day, run out of the house in panic just to realize upon getting to work you didn’t even kiss someone special goodbye let alone have a card, flowers or some other acknowledgment of this important relationship for your better half? Your situation has just been rescued!
With an electronic gift an email announcement is sent within minutes! The e-commerce merchant that has a wide selection of physical gifts on their website sends out an email to the gift recipient with a personal message from you. The email announcement has a URL (link) taking your special someone to a special page on a website showing the gift you have selected for them. That special someone you selected simply has to tell the merchant where they would like the gift delivered and it’s soon on it way.
Here is an even better benefit; you can also decide to select a handful of gifts that are similar in price. Your recipient will be able to choose the product they like best. This is a really great option if you are not exactly sure what they might like. For example, you could select the following items; a gourmet food basket, a flower arrangement or a box of smoked salmon.
That special eGift page will show them your three choices (but not to worry, the receiver would not be able to see the listed prices). They could read about the listed items in detail, choose the one they wish to receive, select any special options that might apply (you know – size, color, style) and fill in their shipping address.
This solution is a great resource for the person who seems to have everything, for business gifts, when you are clueless as to what a person would truly want or you don’t want to hang yourself by sending the wrong size, color or whatnot. You can choose any number of gift choices from three, five or twenty-five. No, they can’t hose you and drain your credit card. They only get to choose one of the gift choices (unless specified otherwise) you’ve selected for them and they’ll have a great time choosing their favorite.
When you are doing your electronic gift checkout process, you’ll be shown the range of prices for the items you selected, so you’ll have an idea of how much your going to be charged. You’ll only be charged for the product the recipient selected along with the appropriate shipping and sales tax (depending upon the state your gifted one lives in.)
This program is the perfect last minute gift because the gift announcement is sent via email and arrives within minutes after you complete your Internet checkout process. Then too, if you were really wired for sound and was fortunate enough to plan ahead; you can instead have that announcement email scheduled to arrive on a specific day (up to seven days from the day you fill out your eGift announcement). All gifts’ are sent via Standard delivery – usually UPS Ground or First Class U.S. mail so it may take an additional 3-7 days for delivery depending upon where someone lives.
Your credit card is charged when the recipient goes to the merchant’s web to pick up their selected gift and opts to have it delivered. Unlike a gift certificate, if that scheduled product is never redeemed, your credit card is never charged.
So, there is light at the end of the tunnel for Internet gift giving. I’m not sure of all the places that offer this kind of service or have a one cart/universal shopping cart system that allows shoppers to choose across millions of products, hundreds of stores and thousands of name brands but I do know of at least one if you’re in an immediate crises or panic. Not to take away from my site that offers drop shipping but I have used shop.com. It’s my gift to you because I really do support consumer awareness and good old fashioned competition.