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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 26, 2011

Social app lets shoppers use friend's cash

Here's a new app, just in time for the holidays, that may give more buzz to wanted products: it's a way to get items consumers want without the outlay of cash. Okay, you don't have to worry that friends will be able to access personal banking information, the app is part of a rewards system.

by Kristina Knight

socialcommerce.pngThe new app, from Friendgift, allows social media friends to 'chip in' on certain purchases. Why would a friend want to randomly commit to paying for an item? Because they get branded rewards for doing so.

"It's a classic win-win situation," said Rob Carpenter, Friendgift CEO. "FriendPay gives shoppers the opportunity to obtain the consumer products they really want but either can't afford or can't make a top spending priority - hot items like the iPad 2 and Amazon Kindle Fire, the latest Android smartphones and Canon digital cameras, and other electronics, video games, movies and designer clothing and accessories. By alerting their friends to their chosen products through Facebook, Twitter or e-mail, these shoppers can collect multiple contributions from their friends, and the friends who contribute get instant rewards for the awesome products and activities they themselves want. It's a social media version of 'pay it forward' that solves a major dilemma for both the consumer and the merchant."

Here is how the platform works: a consumer notes products they want to buy. Friends can then help pay for those items - or not - and by doing so earn special discounts and rewards for purchases of their own. Plans are in the works to allow merchants to incorporate FriendPay options within their ecommerce sites.

Tags: FriendGift, social commerce, social marketing, social networks. social shopping

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