When Leif Baradoy was helping his brother move he found a drawer full of unused gift cards. This was the inspiration for Giftbit, the company Baradoy would go on to found with Peter Locke. Giftbit offers companies a service where they can send customers digital gift cards with set expiration dates through email, then follow up via email to remind the customers to use the cards before they expire. Because of their business model, the company loses no money if the customer doesn’t respond. “Giftbit customers are able to track, audit, and manage their gift card offers and campaigns down to the recipient level,” Baradoy told GeekWire last fall.
The company received venture funding early in 2016 from Founder’s Co-op and Freestyle, and in the time between then and now have identified a need that they have just announced during TechCrunch Disrupt SF that they will fill, the need for a business to be able to create their own digital currency on the fly and in whatever form they want — promo codes, refund credits, or digital gift cards for sale.
This new offering can help businesses in a number of ways, but the one that jumps out to me is retaining profits when a customer decides they want a refund. Just as many Creating branded gift cards isn’t a brand new idea. brick and mortar stores will offer in-store credit for returns, Giftbit’s new service will let e‑commerce retailers do the same. And the SaaS program is simple and flexible, without the need to set up refund credits, or any other form of digital currency, ahead of time in a system. If they have a return, they can simply create the branded credit right then and there as needed.
Creating branded gift cards isn’t a brand new idea. Nor is it exclusive to Giftbit. But the new subscription service will be much easier and simpler for businesses, as well as much less expensive. For an initial 1000 codes, which can be used any way the company sees fit, they only pay $90. That’s $.09 per code, which is very affordable for the benefits they offer. Beyond that, they drop drastically in price to $15 for each additional 1000 codes. The service is accomplished through an API that doesn’t require an extensive coding or development team to handle. Just about any small business will be able to take advantage of the program both from a financial and a technical point of view. The API drops right into an existing checkout system almost seamlessly. The codes can be added to a customer’s digital wallet, and just like Giftbit’s existing service everything is trackable in detailed reports so the business can see what’s working and what isn’t effective.
This secure, PCI compliant, and scalable system will also soon be integrated with tools like SalesForce and Zapier and available to Shopify Plus merchants. They currently have a staff of 18, but with the new service and the business opportunities it promises they could be scaling that workforce very soon. If digital currency is your passion and you want something a little more commercial that Bitcoin, Giftbit might be a good place for you to apply.