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社会化礼品应用Wrapp能成为后Groupon时代的明星吗?

Miguel Helft 2012年05月03日

本周一正式进军美国市场的瑞典“社会化礼品”公司Wrapp除了得到不少业内大佬的追捧外,还与众多大型零售企业建立了合作关系,其中包括Gap和丝芙兰。以Groupon为代表的团购模式已经遭到越来越多的诟病,Wrapp的社会化馈赠模式能成功吗?

    近日,在科技创业公司圈内开始流行一个大家最喜欢的消遣活动——抨击Groupon。这家一度炙手可热的团购之王现在突然变得处处遭人诟病:从财务欺诈,到内控不足,再到为了业务拓展而大手大脚地开支过度。可能最糟的是,批评人士称,对那些贪便宜的主,Groupon就像是他们的磁铁。商家只要是在Groupon上发布了团购优惠,他们就一拥而上,用足低价折扣,然后就一去不复返了。Groupon本来是指望这些消费者成为回头客,从而吸引商家成为Groupon的客户,可这么一来,所谓双赢模式还从何谈起呢。

    那么,有没有哪个自称是“反Groupon”的公司找到一剂良方,能让消费者和零售商皆大欢喜呢?这正是哈加尔马•温布拉德的希望所在。作为一位连续创业家,他在瑞典成立了一个名为Wrapp的公司。本周一,这家公司正式进入美国市场。作为Wrapp的首席执行官,他表示:“从零售商的角度看,我们能把合适的客户送到店里,并帮助提高销量。”

    Wrapp不是团购公司——团购公司成百上千,没有一家成气候的。它是一个社交馈赠移动应用,名字是wrap和app这两个单词的结合,建立在Facebook的社交图谱上。它鼓励用户在生日、节日和其他特殊场合向自己的亲戚朋友赠送礼物。不过,用户们赠送的不是虚拟的马天尼酒之类的礼物,而是虚拟的礼品卡,这种卡通过手机就能在大型零售商如GAP、H&M或丝芙兰(Sephora)处兑换商品。

    这种卡很多都是免费的,零售商可以指定它们对哪类人群有效(比如,芝加哥18岁到24岁的女性)。如果你正好是送卡人,就可以往卡里充值,还能在Facebook上发布自己要送的礼物,这样其他人也能为它充值(比如可以说:“乔就要参加半程马拉松了,我们都来给他的新跑鞋捐点钱吧。”)。这个应用可以使用Facebook的数据,因此能在朋友生日和其他特殊日子向用户发出提醒。

    丝芙兰的互动副总裁布里奇特•多兰表示:“Wrapp是一种美妙的送礼方式。”多兰称,很多人本来有意送礼,却常常没这么做,因为他们没时间,或是压根就给忘了。“有了Wrapp,你就能付诸行动了,因为这是那么容易。它本身就是让人惊喜地喊出‘哎呀’的完美礼物。”

    丝芙兰已经使用了第一信息公司(First Data Corporation)开发的电子产品eGift Social,它让人们能通过Facebook赠送礼品卡。多兰表示,Wrapp的移动应用及提醒用户特殊日子的功能有可能让丝芙兰的礼品卡生意获得“极快的病毒式增长”。

    温布拉德称,Wrapp和Groupon一样,会让网民们走进实体店。不过,他表示,用户不会把这种购物体验和买打折货挂钩,那样只会损害品牌的声誉,相反,他们认为这是朋友精选挑选的礼物。当Wrapp的用户在Facebook上发布礼物,或是加入赞助某种礼物的群组,或是“赞”(like)他们朋友的礼物时,品牌实际上得到了免费的广告传播。

    There's a favorite pastime these days in tech startup circles -- bashing Groupon. The once-hot daily deals kingpin is being slammed for everything from accounting shenanigans to lack of internal controls and overspending to grow its business. Perhaps worst of all, critics say Groupon is a magnet for cheapskates who flock to merchants to redeem deep discounts and never return -- hardly a winning model for the retailers Groupon counts on as repeat customers.

    So has a company that bills itself as the anti-Groupon (GRPN) found a formula that works for both consumers and retailers? That's the hope of Hjalmar Winbladh, a serial entrepreneur whose Swedish startup, Wrapp, is launching in the United States on Monday. "From a retailer perspective, we can send the right customer to your store and help drive more sales," says Winbladh, who is Wrapp's CEO.

    Wrapp is not daily deals startup -- there are already hundreds of those, none of them runaway successes. Wrapp is a social gifting mobile app, whose name is a mash-up of "wrap" and "app," and is built atop of Facebook's social graph. It encourages users to give gifts to their friends and relatives on birthdays, holidays and other special occasions. But instead of giving, say, a virtual martini, Wrapp users give each other virtual gift cards that are redeemable, via their mobile phones, at major retailers like Gap (GPS), H&M or Sephora.

    Many of the cards are free and retailers can specify to whom they are available (women 18 to 24 in Chicago, for example). If you are the one doing the giving, you can add money to a card. You can also publish your gift on Facebook, where others can also add money to it. ("Hey, Joe is running a half-marathon, so lets all contribute to a his new pair of running shoes.") Since the mobile app has access to Facebook data, it will remind you of your friend's birthdays and other special occasions.

    "Wrapp will be a fantastic way to give a gift," says Bridget Dolan, vice president of interactive at Sephora. Dolan says many people who have the intention to give gifts often don't do so because they don't have time or because they forget. "With Wrapp, you are going to act on those intentions because it is so easy. It is the perfect 'oops' gift."

    Sephora already works with eGift Social, which lets people send gift cards via Facebook, but Dolan says Wrapp's mobile app and its ability to remind users about special occasions has the potential to put Sephora's gift card business on a "very fast viral climb."

    Like Groupon, Wrapp will drive online denizens to brick-and-mortar stores, says Winbladh. However consumers won't associate the shopping experience with a discount, which can tarnish a brand's cachet, but rather with a gift purposely chosen by their friends, he says. And brands will get free advertising, of sorts, when Wrapp users publish their gifts, join as a group to make a gift bigger, or "like" their friend's gifts on Facebook.

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