New website aims to reinvent gift card purchasing for local Chicago merchants

Chicago, Dec. 8, 2011 — /CHICAGOPRESSRELEASE.COM/ — GiftBar, the new and unique online gift card marketplace, will forever change the way consumers purchase gift cards and how local merchants attract new business.

Launching just in time for the holidays, GiftBar allows consumers to discover, select and instantly send gift cards from many of Chicago’s best local merchants.

GiftBar founders Kara Kaplan and Jennifer Morris wanted a one-stop shop for consumers to purchase and give gift cards from local merchants via email, mail and most uniquely text message – for the first time bringing high-end marketing technology to small businesses and true convenience to the consumer.

“We researched a variety of small businesses that provide gift certificates, and discovered that nearly 75% of those still issued handwritten, paper certificates and that you often have to visit the store in person to purchase” said Kara Kaplan, co-founder of Gift Bar. “We wanted to make it easy to gift locally from the comfort of your home. We’re offering a highly curated, easy to use site for consumers to interact with these merchants and provide a great alternative to big box gift cards” said Kaplan.

Most local merchants haven’t been able to take advantage of the latest trends in gift card technology, yet over 60% of consumers intend to purchase gift cards this holiday season. “We felt it was necessary to not only focus on the consumer’s online experience, but to also service the merchants by allowing them to have a cost-effective, turnkey solution that will drive customers through their doors, and not just to their website,” said Jennifer Morris, co-founder of GiftBar. “ We strongly believe in the importance of supporting local businesses and we know that GiftBar will help promote these merchants, especially in this economic climate, to the next level,” said Morris.Along with this new way of purchasing/giving gift cards, GiftBar will also be a great resource for a merchant to announce new products, post ‘flash’ sales, promote special events and link to their social media pages – all via their own GiftBar Merchant page.

In addition, GiftBar set out to make a unique experience for the consumer as well. The new website allows guests to search from a variety of categories (high-end boutiques for women/men/kids, specialty retailers, spas, salons, restaurants) and purchase a gift card which can be delivered via email, text or snail mail. Gift cards can be purchased for specific retailers, or a “GiftBar of Choice” can be applied to any of the merchant(s) participating on the site.

About GiftBar:

Founded in 2011, GiftBar is a highly, curated gift card marketplace that features only local merchants. GiftBar allows you to search from a variety of categories including high-end boutiques for woman/men/kids, specialty retailers, spas, salons and restaurants. Simply decide on a merchant and the dollar amount to gift, and choose whether to have your gift card delivered via email, text or in the mail. GiftBar also allows you to create a registry to make gift giving easier for friends and family alike, or simply send a ‘GiftBar of Choice’ that easily lets your recipient pick their own favorite merchant(s). GiftBar will first launch in Chicago with New York and Los Angeles closely following. Other markets will be added as needed.

Published in: Business, Lifestyle, Local News Keywords: , , , ,

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