Last week, one of my US friends called me and asked “how to send gifts online in india?”. My friend wanted to give someone a digital gift this Diwali.
Since digital gifts were something new to me, I decided to take up the challenge and told him that I would update him after my research.
Well, here is the result of that research. I’m sure you will be surprised to know that many of the popular global e-gifting options are still not available in India. In other words, E Gifting is still in nascent stage in India. That said, you don’t have to leave the building yet, because there are still many good options to give digital gifts. Let us see.
1. e-Gift Cards
When you hear gift cards, what might be the first thing that would come to your mind? Is it iTunes gift card? I’m afraid; they are not available in India yet. The e-Gift cards that I’m taking about are the ones from other online shops in India.
Almost all of the e-tail shops in India offer gift cards. From Croma retail to Crosswords, you can buy e-gifts cards of various denominations. They are easy to buy and easy to gift. Just decide on the amount you plan to gift, enter the email address of your recipient and pay. Your digital e gift card will be delivered to your recipient in no time.
2. eBooks / Kindle eBooks
Even though Amazon.com offers kindle books in India, you can’t ‘gift’ an ebook to an Indian resident. (It only works in US). So, you have to manually create Amazon.com account for your recipient to purchase kindle books as gift.
Other eBooks stores including LandMarkOnTheNet.com, FlipKart ebooks, KoboBooks.com also offer similar service. If you don’t have time to setup eBook accounts at these websites, you can give ebook gift vouchers instead.
It would have been a great way to gift if you could send an ebook to an email address. Don’t you agree? Unfortunately, this method is yet to arrive in India.
3. Pre Paid Online Gift Cards from Banks
Axis Bank recently launched a product called “Axis Bank e-Gift Card“. It’s a virtual prepaid debit card, your recipient can use to purchase from Indian online shopping websites. Just like a physical debit card, you could use this card to purchase products and services from any Indian (only supports rupee payments) e-commerce website.
Similar to Axis Bank, ICICI and SBI also offers gifts cards that you can buy online. But there’s a difference – these are physical prepaid cards that can also be used for offline purchases. What makes them digital? Well, it is how you pay for them – you make online payments to fill these cards.
4. Online Subscriptions
The BigFlix Apps are available for PC, IOS, Windows and Android. So your recipient can easily stream movies to any of their preferred devices.
Another option you can go ahead with subscriptions are digital magazines. Websites like magzter.com offers various magazines in digital editions. Just like the eBook services mentioned previously, you have to install Magzter app to read magazine in your tablets and PCs. So, if your recipient loves magazines, here is a thoughtful digital gift you can buy.
As you just saw, the numbers of opportunities to give digital gifts in India are limited. Until Apple iTunes or Amazon.in start full-fledged digital operations, you and I are stuck with these digital gifts that the other ecommerce companies offer.
Now, it’s your turn. Have your bought any digital gifts recently? What digital gift service would like to see in the future? If you had an opportunity to change something in digital gifts space, what would that be? Share your opinions with us.