A new US Web site claims to be the first dedicated to present givers wanting the option of sending an electronic gift certificate.
Flooz.com, is an ecommerce site that allows users to email a personalised digital greeting card with an online gift certificate that can be redeemed at any one of about 20 online merchants that are linked to Flooz.com.
"Our approach is to create a win-win value proposition for our customers and our partners. Flooz.com makes both the gift giver and recipient feel special," said Robert Levitan, co-founder of Flooz.com.
Ecommerce sites that are hooked up to Flooz.com include: Caesar's Palate, which sells gourmet foods, Red Rocket, a toy company, Nature's Aide, a health supplement and vitamin supplier, Books.com and Musicspot.
Flooz.com will soon be linked to Petquarters.com, a pet supply distributor, Virtual Vineyards, a wine distributor, Chipshot.com, a golf equipment supplier, Omaha Steaks and Towerrecords.com.
Users go to the Web site, purchase Flooz - which came from a Persian slang term for cash - and send the Flooz and a greeting card to a recipient. The recipient can then go to any of the merchants linked to the site and make purchases with the Flooz. One Flooz equals one dollar. The sender receives an email confirmation that his gift has been received.
Flooz can be sent to any email address in the world. Currently, all sites linked to Flooz.com are US based. However, a spokesperson said that there are plans to link to other sites internationally, though she could not specify when.
Sending Flooz is free to users and linking to the site is free to merchants. Flooz.com is given a 12 to 15 per cent commission by merchants when items are purchased from their sites with Flooz.
Flooz.com has handled several thousand transactions since its launch and the average Flooz purchase is $50, according to the company. Merchants see benefits from additional exposure and site traffic.
"The conversion of visitors to customers was substantially higher than industry averages," said Jack Bashian, director of business development for Books.com & Musicspot.
"Also, our presence on Flooz generated sales beyond just Flooz redemption, as we saw numerous credit card sales from customers visiting the stores from Flooz. An additional benefit is the awareness generated for our stores from our presence on the Flooz site."
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