Summer is over … cue the holiday music. It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays or, if you’re of Amazon’s mindset, it’s never too late. Amazon has changed the game when it comes to last-minute gifting, and now they’re using that expertise to elevate the world of gift cards.
Amazon conducted research to identify today’s gift card customer, then set out to create a new experience for the market. Amazon Senior Business Manager Vince Locsin said, “Over time, the typical gift card customer has grown from a last minute purchaser to the ‘I don’t know what to get them but I want the gift to be perfect and thoughtful’ shopper.”
Amazon Gift Card customers may be busy people who need last minute holiday party gifts, businesses of all sizes who give gift cards to clients and vendors or employees, or cash customers picking up gift cards in local stores in order to shop online without using a credit or debit card. “Amazon Gift Card customers are anyone and everyone, and it’s our job to create the best experience for each one of them,” said Locsin.
On its own, the Amazon Gift Card is an appealing gift because it’s redeemable toward the millions of items available at Amazon.com. Locsin and his team, however, took the idea of gift cards to the next level, focusing on the customers’ gift giving needs, offering innovative gift card formats, and packaging new gift card experiences that make both physical and digital gift giving an instant, seamless and thoughtful process.
In the gift giving experience there are two primary customers: the gift giver and the recipient. Addressing the needs of both is central to the Amazon Gift Cards experience. Locsin said, “We want gift givers to feel they are giving a personal, thoughtful gift that’s more than just a paper card. That’s why our physical gift cards come in a free accessory such as a gift tag, gift box or greeting card. Amazon is all about blending the physical with the digital. How do we develop something that is packaged and ready to gift without additional effort, hassle or stress for the customer, yet has the appropriate sentiment for the occasion.
In line with this approach, last holiday season Amazon introduced its Anytime Gift Cards, zero-balance Amazon Gift Cards that can be immediately activated with an amount between $10 and $2000 using the Amazon app. These on-demand gift cards come affixed inside a pack of 3 premium greeting cards which retail for $2.99 and are available in a variety of designs for many occasions. Customers can find the product at Amazon.com or any of the Amazon Books stores nationwide. “This product is the first of its kind, and has been a big hit with customers, especially those who find them at our Amazon Books stores. And it makes a lot sense. Greeting cards and Amazon Gift Cards naturally come together to create a perfect last-minute gift,” said Locsin.
Locsin and his team collaborated with NEENAH Packaging on the Anytime Gift Card product to create a frustration-free packaging experience for customers, and leveraged their paper expertise to design and develop a best-in-class premium greeting card collection.
Locsin and his team have continued to work with NEENAH Packaging on a variety of innovative gift card formats, including the gift tag introduced last year. The gift tag was originally intended to work as an ‘add-on’ gift — something small and simple that gift givers could easily and elegantly bundle with another gift such as a bottle of wine.
“By successfully launching the gift tag product, we validated the concept behind the ‘add-on’ gift. We also learned that many customers were purchasing the gift tag in high gift card amounts as well, and likely giving the gift tag on its own, lending better understanding into who our Amazon Gift Cards customers are and their gift giving needs. The whole product development process for both Anytime Gift Cards and the gift tag, from conception to launch, enabled us to test new ideas while also surfacing meaningful customer insights that continue to shape how we develop future products. NEENAH was instrumental in this process, and with their help we crafted innovative gift card offerings which our customers love,” Locsin said.
Learn more about Amazon Gift Cards.