As appeared on Afaqs.com by Biprorshee Das
With Woohoo Friends Club, users can gift vouchers of various brands that are available with Woohoo.in on Facebook. While the realm of social media expands, marketing on the various social platforms is getting innovative as well. Brands engaging with consumers on social media is old news; what is not is the new ideas that are being thought of to keep the consumers interested. Woohoo.in, an online destination for gift vouchers (or gift cards) of various brands, for instance, is riding the wave, taking its services to the Facebook platform. The portal has launched a new initiative called the ‘Woohoo Friends’ Club’ that allows Facebook users to send gift cards of a wide range of merchants and brands, electronic or physical, to their friends on the social networking platform. The gifting platform, called SoLoMap (Social to Local Marketing Platform) is the first of its kind to be launched in the Asia Pacific region, claims the company.
The gifting process is as simple as using any other social apps on the platform. On the Woohoo Friends’ Club page, the user has to sign in using his/her Facebook login. Once logged in, the friends list of the user is extracted and details regarding their birthdays are displayed. The user can choose the gift card of the desired amount to be sent to any of his/her friends. The friend in turn receives a post, which asks for his/her address for the delivery of the card and can then go to the brand outlet to redeem the voucher. T P Pratap, chief marketing officer and co-founder, QwikCilver (Woohoo.in’s parent company) tells afaqs! that the initiative will help its merchants engage directly and effectively with customers. “One big challenge for brands today is how to convert their online following into footfalls. W Friends’ Club is a platform that facilitates that. It leverages the power of social media to reach a wide customer base. Through this programme, we aim to provide brands with an effective marketing platform driven by viral, word-of-mouth marketing as well as giving consumers another mode of easy gifting. The key differentiator is the capability to engage consumers, trigger and track Facebook posts on to the sales purchases at the brand stores in real time,” he says.
Pratap points out that while vouchers bought and redeemed ensures that the core objective of sales is achieved, an initiative such as this on a platform such as Facebook guarantees that a particular brand is spoken of. “It is not advertising-led communication. The user ‘gifts’ a gift card. The logo and details of the brand are all there on their Facebook timeline. That particular post is far more effective. This is one more avenue for our partner brands,” he says. Woohoo.in has around 70 brands that include Titan, Puma, Nike, Allen Solly and Flipkart, among others, vouchers of which the company sells online. The initiative has been built internally by the company’s technology development team. Pratap states that as per a survey conducted by QwikCilver, the Indian gift card market has been growing at 145 percent in the last 12 months and is valued at Rs 1,800 crore.