Shopping can be one of the most stressful parts of the holiday season. The thought of bustling your way through traffic and crowded stores can insight fear. Then, once you get to the mall, it becomes mind-numbing to figure out what to purchase for those on your list.
Technology is making the shopping experience easier, reducing the long lines and number of shopping bags. It’s not only a great way to shop, but get gift ideas all from the comfort of your office or home. With Christmas only a week away, check out these online services that will help you simplify your holiday shopping:
You can send a variety of holiday gifts, publicly or privately, using the social network’s new gift service. And yes Facebook is gifting real items, not virtual goods. To use Facebook gifts, simply select the Facebook friend you would like to send a gift, then choose an item such as an iTunes gift card, magazine subscription or even make a contribution to a charity on their behalf. Once you make the selection you may elect to add a card.
A message will be sent to the recipients Facebook timeline or as a private inbox message. Not sure of the recipients address? No worries, once the person reviews the message they can enter their mailing information and even chose the size or color of the selected gift.
This gift recommendation website works by importing your friends’ Facebook profile data to provide customized gift ideas. Giftivo can also recommend gifts for friends with limited Facebook profiles or people with no Facebook profiles at all through a unique customization dashboard.
Given was created to take the stress and bad presents out of holiday gifting, allowing gift givers to join together to crowd fund gifts for their friends and family. Rather than brave crazy malls or aimlessly search gift guides, gift givers can visit the Given website to find their friends or family members’ wish list. There, they can contribute to the purchase of an item, or buy an entire present, and it ships automatically. Gifting with Given is much more personal than cash, or giving a piece of plastic that will probably get lost in the couch cushions by New Years.
S. Lynn Cooper is a Washington, DC-based digital strategist and communications expert. Cooper is the founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency that specializes in the creation of social and digital strategies and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter at @sociallyahead