Outdoors Brand Offers Mobile Gift Cards Via Facebook

Bass Pro Shops has implemented a Facebook tab for fans to buy gift cards that will be delivered via a text message or an e-mail. The digital messages can include personalized audio for purchasers with microphone functionality, as well as uploaded photos from Facebook.

Recipients will see instructions for printing the gift cards, which can be redeemed online, via phone, or at the outdoors gear retailer’s 56 locations. The browsing experience occurs within a pop-up shopping cart app without requiring users to navigate away from Facebook.

Katie Mitchell, spokesperson for the brand, said the feature was launched on May 27 to lift online gift card sales in an increasingly mobile marketplace. “A customer can catch a fish on the lake, take a picture on his phone, post the photo on Facebook, send a friend a gift card with a picture of the fish, as well as a message about what lure and techniques he used to catch the fish,” she said.

Facebook users are reminded of friends and family members’ birthdays and anniversaries when they visit the site. Because of that, Mitchell suggested, enabling gift card purchasing on the platform was a virtual no-brainer.

“Our overall goal is to get fulfillment of our gift cards in any way that our customers want or need,” she said. “We think this is part of the future of gift-giving. And due to the general popularity of social media and mobile [communications”, it just seemed like a natural direction for us to take.”

Her Springfield, MO-based company is employing Transaction Wireless’ Facebook-based system, which allows viewers who click on the “Buy Gift Cards” tab to see the aforementioned pop-up shopping cart (pictured below). Similar to other apps on the market (for instance, eStore and Alvenda) the purchase data is hosted on Transaction Wireless’ server and not on Facebook.


AMC Entertainment, SpaFinder, and Hallmark Insights are among other firms that have recently installed the app, said Bruce Springer, CEO of San Diego-based Transaction Wireless. He said that even non-fans – who visit the Facebook page of retailers using the system – can buy gift cards while bypassing the “Apply” button for the gift card app. They can hit a “Continue” button to commence with buying.

“If the consumer does not allow the application, then the social gifting [or” networking components – wall posts, news feeds, announcing on your personal Facebook page, for example – will not be visible when purchasing,” Springer explained.

Meanwhile, Mitchell said Bass Pro Shops hopes that increased Facebook efforts will appeal to a younger audience of outdoors enthusiasts.

“We think we’ve lost a generation of customers,” Mitchell said. “Today’s parents don’t know how to set a tent or prepare a camp site. We feel this is a good way to embrace this new generation and convert them… I actually don’t see this as preaching to the choir. I see it as creating new customers via this venue.”

Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.

Related reading