Posted November 22, 2010 4:07 pm by with 2 comments

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A gift card may seem like the last act of a desperate gift giver, but Home Depot is determined to change that feeling by adding video to their cards.

When sending a Home Depot e-card, you can now upload a video up to 3 minutes long, or, you can use a webcam to record a message. Then, the recipient uses the code they receive in their email to access the video and voila, it’s now more than just virtual money!

Want to spread the love? With one click, you can send e-gift cards to your friends on Facebook, even if you don’t know their email address.

Pretty simple, except for their website, which is confusing. When you hit the site you have a choice of “I’m giving a gift card” or “I received a gift card.” Which would you push if you wanted to buy a gift card to give? Neither one. That link is hidden in the bottom left corner. “I’m giving a gift card” appears to be a tool that allows you to add a video to a card you purchased at a store. I think. . .it’s not very clear, even when you click through.

From all this, there are two takeaways. One, everything old can be made new again with just a little creative thought. Adding video to a gift card isn’t a huge leap but it’s a nice touch that makes this card a little more appealing than the competitor’s card. What can you do to add that extra special touch this holiday season. Maybe it’s about adding a mystery item to all orders over $50 or the ability to send a treat to yourself when you buy a gift for someone else. How about offering a free song or ebook download with gift card purchase.

Takeaway two is, be clear. Leave nothing to chance. Make sure every inch of your website, Facebook page, every Twitter message makes sense to a first time visitor. Check those links and keep an eye on servers for downtime issues. Don’t lose customers because they don’t know what to do next. Your product may sell itself but it won’t be going anywhere if consumers can’t figure out which link to click in order to buy it.

  • Hi Cynthia.
    It surprises me that a company like Home Depot gets it wrong on their website, the concept is a good one, but like you say, if you don’t make it easy for your visitors to find the link they will give up and not come back. They might even talk about their misfortune on FB or Twitter, then social media is not your friend.

  • I will be very curious to hear how well this is received and used. I hope you follow up on this after the holiday. It’s an innovative idea, and may be very profitable for Home Depot, especially if people space out and don’t use the gift. A physical gift card costs money to produce and distribute. It is easily thrown into a pocket, wallet, or purse, and then, when you find yourself in the store, you have it with you. This e-gift card requires some effort on the part of the recipient. My bet is that far more of these will never be redeemed than a traditional gift card. Will be interesting to follow this.