It’s really annoying how people inspect a gift to check its value, authenticity and most often, the price. Gifts often speak a lot about the giver and their taste. This has indeed put me in a sticky spot many a times with my mother and sister.
One day, my best friend called me excitedly and asked me to go to Lifestyle with her. Someone had given her a Lifestyle gift card for Rs. 1000 and she was thrilled with the idea of looking for something of her choice. It also gave her the chance to browse her favorite store! At Lifestyle, buying a gift card is easy and the range of products is great. However, for a hardcore gold jewelry fan like my mom, buying a Lifestyle gift card was not a good idea which led me to look for other gifting options.
I was searching the internet for gift cards and came across Woohoo.in. I must say I was very impressed as there are gift cards for every possible occasion that you can think of and for every possible luxury product you can imagine. Now I can get my mom a gift card from Gitanjali or Ddamas without having to listen to her ‘purity of gold’ litany. My sister didn’t give my any grief over ‘real leather’ handbags anymore, not after I gave her Hidesign and Holii gift cards! Woohoo has indeed simplified the gifting experience to a large extent! – Lakshmi Anand, Pondicherry
I am a Captain in the Indian Army, presently stationed at the Jammu. My wife, aged parents and son live in Mumbai. I get to visit them now and then but not as often as I like to. It was my son’s 10th birthday. Much as I loved to be with him on this happy occasion, I couldn’t get leave. I recalled that my son wanted the latest video game – he had written pages describing it to me in great detail. However, not being tech savvy and being stationed in a remote location, I did not know how to go about buying the ideal gift for my son. I desperately wanted to make him happy and did not want to end up buying the wrong gift that would end up in the dustbin!
It was then that my officer referred me a website called Woohoo.in. He said, “Bala, if you promise to stop whining about technology, here’s a way you can get him that video game”. He introduced me to this novel and exciting gifting concept and I purchased an online gift card from Landmark. Now, my son could buy his dream video game or a toy or books of his choice. As simple as that! The user-friendly interface allowed me to buy the card in a few seconds. Of course, my guilty feelings made sure I spent a lot on it. GiftBig enabled me to make the right choice. This is truly happiness at your fingertip! I got to learn later that my son had a great time hunting his favorite game CD’s at Landmark. – Capt. Bala
It’s not often that your customers take the time to write to you. But we are receiving emails, and we are thrilled that we have been able to simplify the gifting experience for our customers!! Here is an email reproduced with permission.
First of all thanks for assisting me with the purchase of gift cards last week. As an Indian born, but now a US citizen im pretty impressed with your service levels.
We come to india every year and its not easy to carry gifts to all relatives. It’s not that we don’t like gifting and receiving gifts, but in the planning before the travel and the two weeks we get in India, you get very little time to buy gifts suiting the tastes of everybody. It also never becomes feasible to carry gifts for each of your niece and nephew in the luggage and sometimes when they don’t like the gift it’s disheartening to see their frowns.
But thanks to you people this year gifting was no hassles at all. Thanks for assisting me with the suggestions regarding brands. The kids absolutely loved the PVR and Landmark gift cards, and i could see the twinkle in the eyes of my sisters-in-laws on seeing the neatly packaged Gitanjali gift cards. For the men your suggestion of Madhuloka was perfect. I didn’t know it was such a popular outlet in bangalore. Great to see such gifting concepts becoming popular here.
Sunita Krishnan, Bangalore
Here below is a genuine communication and feedback from a Woohoo consumer. We are very pleased and humbled indeed.. “I have no words to express thanks to the team who came up with this superb idea of gift cards ….which has made gifting so easy and so simple. And especially for bad gift choosers like me, this IS a God sent boon because I can now gift these cards without having to worry if I have chosen the right gift or not, and its also suitable for every age group, the fat, the thin, the fair and the dark and the boy or the girl. I am no big writer, but nevertheless, I would like to share the experience I had with Wohoo with just a few simple words. I have a daughter, who is in her teens, and to whom, always, choosing gifts was a big problem. Plus it was not possible for me or her father to go every place with her to buy her gifts or stuff she wanted. The difficulty was not with the fact that she would overspend, but was with the shopping part. God! it was so difficult to convince her….and she has always been the confused indecisive type. All this apart, the main thing was that the “surprise” factor was missing. Because, if ever we wanted to surprise her, we were really uncomfortable choosing a gift, in the fear that she may not like what we choose and might even reject it. So we heard about Gift Big…(thank our stars), from somewhere….call it a reliable source or through word of mouth. Some of our close friends had tried it and liked the idea of gifting these cards very much. And then we too bought two gift cards, just as a trial, and planned to gift it to dear daughter during Christmas. We found a nice pair of socks and put the gift cards inside…and hung it over her bed. When she woke up the next morning and found them, our joy knew no bounds, because we hadnt seen that look of joy, surprise and delight on her face in a long long time. It was the Merriest Christmas we ever had. The best part, with these gift cards, she told us, was being able to use them for the gift/voucher of her choice and also said that there were a lot of choices (as if we didnt know And now that Wooohoo is here, we have no fear of choosing the wrong gifts or kids going round sulking because they didnt like our selection…..we know just what to do….buy Gift cards from Woohoo! Yes, we are planning to buy many many more and gift more and more to near and dear ones round us. A warm thank you to Woohoo! Sincerely Padma Lochani..” – Shared by Pratap T.P
Sometime in the Pre Historic Era before the birth of Gift Cards) Elizabeth had a pleasing personality and was a very comforting presence as the only Indian in midst of around 20 Arabs, all attired in Dishdashas and Abayas (the traditional attire of Arab men and women respectively). I was to work with this group for a fortnight, providing them training in Microsoft office. Well, all of them were indeed very friendly and cooperative, but Elizabeth took it upon herself to make me comfortable in the very alien environment and also acted as an interpreter when the Indian English made no sense to the Arab junta and vice versa. When it was time for good byes, the gracious lady once again charmed me with her thoughtfulness –she pushed a little pink packet into my hands. Gifts are always exciting, doubly so when they come from the most unexpected quarters. I couldn’t wait to open it and when I did, it was a shirt –a happy-blue one with long sleeves. It was lovely!!I was already mentally teaming it up with my denims and flowing white skirt. I couldn’t wait to try it on. And I could definitely not wait till the next day. So what if dinner was rice, sambar and cabbage? I decided I could still dress up for dinner. A “qwik” shower and I get into my happy blue shirt …..well, hmmmm … my lovely blue shirt turns out to be a disaster ..I fill it out a little too much. But I don’t lose my heart. It’s just a few inches and a couple of kilos to shed. My happy Blue shirt would surely motivate me. I was already preparing a diet plan and a workout schedule. I just couldn’t give away Elizabeth’s gift without even wearing it once. And so in the last many years, the Happy blue shirt has travelled with me from Kuwait to Hyderabad to Bangalore. She still hangs there in my cupboard, hoping that some day, some day she will be chosen over her neighbors in the cupboard. Her only solace is that she now has the company of a pink kurta that had a disastrous alteration and a lime green jacket that dusky beauties should keep a safe distance from!! They seem to be in there for a very long wait… In spite of not being a hoarder by nature, there are a few such sartorial nightmares that I do hoard for various reasons-if some are gifted by special people, then some are too expensive to be given away. So you carry the baggage for years and years waiting for the kilos to shed, for the skin to lighten, for your niece to grow up, for your daughter to be born…… I have always wondered if this was the psycho-sentimental me at play. Why be bundled with ill fitting clothes? Why not gift the power to choose. If Elizabeth had a choice, am sure she would have delightfully gifted me a GIFT CARD. And the Happy Blue Shirt would have been MY TRULY HAPPY BLUE SHIRT. – Uma Menon
Image Copyright: Gurmit Singh
Imagine in today’s high pressure, time starved environment, one is in a hurry to buy a gift for someone’s wedding, anniversary or birthday and one is running late wracking one’s brains hunting for the right gift to buy. Walking into the nearest grocery store, book store, mobile store or drug store one finds an array of gift cards from various top brands – clothing, footwear, accessories, jewellery, watches, sunglasses etc! Amazing! The sheer convenience of being able to pick up a gift card for any occasion, for any value from practically anywhere at all is an un-precedented convenience from a consumers point of view! The availability of a wide choice of gift cards via the internet is another superb convenience – let your fingers do the walking, pay at your convenience and have the gift of choice delivered to your door-step! Couldn’t be a better way to find the right gift! – Sadiq Ahamed
I remember the days where occasions were few and gifts were limited but the happiness that came with it was tremendous. We would wait for the occasion, await the arrival of uncles especially the ones well placed as in terms of money so the gifts would be big The sheer size of the box was a reflected on the face …a smile from end to end to no end at all . That was 1982. Time’s changed quickly and today its 2011. Festivals remained true to their origin, ideas changed of gifting but the Indianism approach to gifting did not change. It merely refined from the beady eyes of 1982 into looking at the guests and then slowly at the hands, are those hands flowing with the wind or are they holding onto a something. This reminds me of the good old punch line we used to use during college days where invitations boldly read “presence with presents only “ Now 2010 October: This year has seen all of us survive the tides of recession and wanting to unwind on the weekends after the great struggle of not the hard work but the effort in holding onto our jobs and keeping the moolah flowing into the coffers of the ambitious bosses , so now it’s time to unfold what happened that wonderful sunset evening…. It was my son’s birthday and the regular gifts rolled in as usual….and the fun went on until late midnight. For the adults the spirits were boosted with rich wines and wonderful delicacies and for a party lover and a food lover like me there is no limit to any of these ingredients. Just before sunrise like vampires the last drop of spirit was set free from the crystal container into its new journey to flesh and blood. The morning after………. Son: Papa wake up I got this card. Me: Keep it there someone will come for it …(remember its now 6:00 am) Son: No it says I am gifted with Rupees 500.00 The first thought was the morning prayer – “Thank God for his small mercies” but this was in plastic. There began a new era at home of being gifted, and not to forget ……..gifting. The shopping experience was funny, the choices many and the outlets few. Finally with a lot of convincing that the card cannot add cash onto itself for a bigger gift gained personification as it was the last week of the month and there were no more shops left . All done and it’s time to gift all of you an anatomy of what this gift card business is about. It takes one plastic piece and an impish grin to tell your giftee “yes! I am still in control and you have to buy something from this shop only and you are worth only that denomination on this card”. Quite a wicked way of gifting and a wonderful way of saying goodbye to your weekend. Folks, the gift card ride is here, take it or go shopping and get to hear “what a cheap lamp she gave me and ate so much!” Jai hind! – Sadiq Ahamed
Republished here on: 27 December 2011
Link to the original article in Times of India here
The festive season in December has a unique charm. It’s not only Christmas but also the turn of a new year. Like all such joyful occasions, it’s a season of giving; an opportunity to renew and reinforce bonds, of family, friendship or togetherness. It’s also the time to surprise our loved ones with gifts. But not all of us have the luxury of time and convenience to wind through choked traffic, and trawl crowded markets and malls in search of the perfect present. Cyberspace is a good alternative enabling us to sit in the comforts of your home, and sift through products, review prices and specifications. Gifting online is hassle free. Go to one of the websites, like Woohoo and pick up the favourite card of the desired denomination, enter the shipping address and pay. Websites allow sorting gifts by category, occasion or price. The gift card can also be electronically sent by email. The recipient can redeem the card at the outlet physically or shop online and get the gift couriered. Buyers can customize and add personal messages. These cards have validity period of 3 to 12 months giving recipients liberty to wait to get their gift of choice. May be nothing like personally visiting a friend to give a gift, but given the fact that not all our loved ones are nearby, digital gift cards are fast becoming popular. Online malls have been proliferating as shoppers feel there is more variety in terms of categories, products and prices online. Some of them are: Indiatimes, Ebay, Naaptol, Myntra, Futurebazaar, Tradus, Homeshop18, Indiaplaza; the list goes on. There are also category-specific malls like Flipkart for books or Seventymm for movies. When our loved ones are far away, often our plans to present them a gift remains just an idea, given the hard logistics involved in picking up a gift, getting it packed, and couriered. Digital gift cards, which are popular abroad, are now fast catching on here. One, it gives you the advantages of online shopping; two, it’s easy and quick; and three, it gives the recipient the choice to get himself or herself something that he or she really loves.
It’s my best friend’s son’s birthday .The good part is that I remembered and the bad part is that I am meeting them in five minutes. Absolutely no time to buy a gift ofcourse. I rummage my son’s cupboard for any unopened gifts, but he is now smart enough remove the packaging as soon as he gets a gift. As I am about to give up the search, disappointed at having lost an opportunity to brighten up the 7 year olds special day a little more, I remember that we do have a couple of Landmark gift cards at home. Just as I dig out one, the bell rings announcing their arrival and I sure am mighty pleased with myself. I open the door, wish him and give him the card with a “you can buy whatever you like”. The card is very colorful and I expect him to be mighty pleased (How foolish can I be!!!), but am a little disappointed to see that he is not particularly pleased or excited. The card is soon forgotten as my friend and I get busy with our gupshup leaving the kids to entertain themselves. A few weeks pass before I ask my friend if they had used the card. And then the story unfolds… Sourish (that’s our protagonists name) kept the card on his desk for almost a week, before popping the first card related query to his mother. Simple and basic. Sourish: “What is this?” Mother:”It’s a gift card” Sourish:” What should I do with this?” Mother:”You can choose a gift for yourself from Landmark” Silence …. A week later… Sourish:”Amma, can I buy anything I want with my card?” Mother:”Yes, anything for Rs. 500” Sourish:”Even a toy and a book?” Mother:”Yes, whatever you wish” Sourish:”That means you can’t stop me from buying something because it’s my card?” Now it’s the mother turn to be silent. A week later … Sourish:”From where can I buy my gift?” Mother:”From any Landmark” Sourish:”even Jubilee hills landmark?” Mother:”yes” Sourish:”I can even buy from Chennai when we go for summer holidays?” Mother:”yes” Silence… A week later Sourish:”Lets go and buy my gift” After spending a couple of hours at Somajiguda Landmark and working out various permutations and combinations with toys, gifts and crayons (ofcourse mother had to help with the arithmetic), Sourish decides he would want to check out the jubilee hills Landmark too before buying. A week later, @Landmark-Jubilee hills Sourish:”Amma, I think the other Landmark was better” This is not the end of the story. For all you know Sourish has visited the Chennai store too and still hasn’t found the best deal…but as my friend(exasperated ,as can be expected☺) shared this story to me ,I was so glad that I had given him one of the best gifts –the gift of the choice. He probably didn’t want to redeem the card because he cherished the power of choice that it gave him over anything else that it could buy him. Deep inside, that’s what all of us want- the power to choose. – Uma Menon
Republished here on: 29 November 2011
Link to original article in Indian Express here
Responding to a consumer survey on gifting, a young professional in Gurgaon said: “I’ve always loved buying gifts for others, be it my father, mother, brother, colleagues or friends. But I always found it strange that they never used or seemed to enjoy my gifts! Earlier, I blamed it on their weird taste, but when my boyfriend started doing the same, I couldn’t con myself any more. Now, I play safe and get everyone gift cards instead. So they can choose whatever product they want to buy and I get to see them enjoy it. That’s happiness for both parties.” The young lady is not alone in her happiness. Owing to the new gifting trend that has emerged across the country, gift cards from leading brands are now sold from stores and portals in more than 150 towns and cities and can be redeemed across more than 2,000 premium brand stores. It’s not just different tastes that drive the demand for gift cards. It’s also a question of saving time. Not planning gift purchases in time problem across the world, and India is no different. Gifting is a last-day activity, with more than 70 per cent Indians doing their gift shopping on the last day. With gift cards, there’s help at hand. Gift card usage happens on multiple occasions and for multiple reasons. It could be for gifting to one’s near and dear ones, a way of showing appreciation to team members, a convenient way of managing large corporate staff programmes or simply a way to give children the freedom to buy what they want (without the parents going mad with the choosing process). The late CK Prahlad used to say India could be thought of as a kaleidoscope. With each small twist, India shows up differently. If we focus on one face or angle, we miss a thousand others. With the introduction of gift cards, the big picture is never lost. In India, brands across consumption categories have launched gift card programmes. These include players like Trent-Landmark, Titan, Peter England, Fastrack, Van Heusen, Puma, Raymond, Flipkart, PVR Cinemas, TTK Prestige and Hidesign. And consumers across age groups are biting the bullet. Gift cards have become a preferred option with both brands and consumers for the following reasons: 1. They are convenient to use; 2. They are secure across the desired set of brand outlets; 3. They offer versatile program flexibility; 4. They are attractive in design and offer good badge value in the wallet; and 5. They enhance the association of the brand with gifting. Market research shows that 88 per cent of Indian retail consumers are aware of the concept of gift cards. When questioned, 78 per cent evinced interest in buying such cards—thus making it that much easier for brands to promote their gift card programs to consumers.