Wrapp, the Swedish social gifting startup that uses apps to allow users to instantly give gift cards via social networks, today unveiled new partners in time for the back-to-school season including Office Depot, Zappos, Roots and the Angry Birds online store. Existing partners like Warby Parker, Fab, Sephora and the Gap will also be offering special free gift cards during the promotion period.
According to Wrapp Head of Corporate Communications Greg Spector, the service has been taking off, thanks to rapid expansion from Sweden to the U.S., U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Australia. The startup is also preparing for launches in France, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil, Canada and Ireland this year and in 2013, which should help it grow its current reach of 400,000 active users considerably.
Some interesting trends are emerging from Wrapp’s usage metrics, and Spector provided a look at what sort of users they’re attracting, and where they’re having the most success.
“Without a doubt, women from early 20s to late 30s are the most active users of Wrapp,” he explained in an interview. “They enjoy giving gifts to their friends, and are generally good shoppers, often buying not just for themselves, but also for their families.” Spector also notes that while Sweden is still the company’s strongest market owing to its maturity, the U.S. is quickly making up the difference (Wrapp opened its doors there in May), as is Australia, where the service launched just this month.
Brands seem to be signing up almost faster than users, but Spector believes there’s a clear reason for that. Specifically, it’s about providing them with something they can’t easily achieve on their own: social network penetration with a touch of virality.
“Over 80 percent of gift cards given using Wrapp are posted to friends’ Facebook pages,” he explained. “From a brand perspective, we’re creating honest and genuine content within the social graph, making the brand a part of the social conversation. You feel good that you gave a friend a gift for their birthday, your friend gets a gift card to one of their favorite stores, and the brand gets a new customer.”
While other services are also trying to be big in the emerging social gifting space, including Karma, the physical goods gift-giving app acquired by Facebook, and GroupGifting.com, Spector points out that most other approaches either take an Amazon-style approach focused on physical goods, or end up being simply gift card resellers in the end. Wrapp is more of an advertising and marketing partner for brands, generating revenue based on performance via a small fee earned when a gift card given through the service is used, as well as when refillable cards have cash added to them.
Wrapp’s engagement is building, as is its stable of partners. The company’s aggressive geographic expansion plan should help it continue to put up good numbers, but it’ll also have to focus on growing adoption within existing core Facebook markets like the U.S. in order to achieve true lasting value.