When shopping for a friend or loved one becomes a tricky task, the most popular option is the gift card.
In recent years, Puerto Rico consumers have become increasingly accepting of them and now, instead of fighting traffic and crowds to pick one up, they can shop for them online at www.regalatogo.com.
The site launched in late January already has a roster of about 50 retailers and is adding an average of one or two a week to reach the goal of grouping between 100 and 120 local stores by year’s end, Javier Díaz, owner of Diazar Solutions, told News is my Business.
His motivation to turn the little plastic card into an electronic solution? The growing acceptance by consumers to shop for online offers and deals, said Díaz, who designed the e-commerce site so that retailers can sell their certificates in denominations from $10 to $100.
“We’re offering retailers an additional alternative to market their goods while offering consumers a tool to help them find gifts,” he said. “Consumers can pay safely online with their ATM card, Visa, MasterCard, or PayPal.”
Gift cards have long been an option that retailers have given their customers. The difference now is that a broad mix of them — restaurants, beauty salons, spas, footwear, and outdoor adventures, among others — are now gathered virtually in one place.
“We basically want to give consumers the convenience of being able to get all of their gifts for every occasion from the comfort of their home, without having to fight for a parking space or stand in line,” he said. “They also have the option of sending the electronic card via email.”
Díaz is betting on the wave of group coupon and discount sites that have popped up in the last year, which have helped build local consumer confidence in online shopping, to float his venture’s success.
“I believe that with the rise of new discounts and offers pages that have been emerging, the Puerto Rican consumer’s mentality will gradually adapt to these [online] purchasing methods,” the entrepreneur said.
Unsurprisingly, in this age of “e-commerce-meets-social-media,” www.regalatogo.com also has presence in Facebook and Twitter, where consumers can go to get more information on the cards available and buy them as well.