Boomerang Debuts Online Gifting Service for E-Publishers (April 24, 2013)
Chicago-based social gifting service Boomerang has rolled out a new rewards service aimed at helping online publishers better engage and monetize their users by offering free gift card rewards to online merchants. Boomerang Rewards, an extension of the company’s recently unveiled brand platform, enables online publishers to give customers promotional gift cards to more than 60 online merchants, including Seamless, Ghirardelli and City Winery. Electronic publishers can offer gift cards for merchants that might appeal specifically to their readers—such as offering a City Winery card on a wine blog, for example. The merchant benefits from increased site traffic and sales, while the publisher gets a cut of the sale—typically 4 to 5 percent, according to a Tech Crunch report. The cards also can be offered by publishers as an incentive to fill out online surveys. The company’s Facebook integration, meanwhile, helps merchants increase brand awareness by enabling reward recipients to pass on the gifts to their network of friends.
“We wanted to shake up both loyalty and advertising as people traditionally think of them,” said Boomerang CEO Zach Smith. “We also see Boomerang Rewards as a natural evolution of the social gifting industry. It’s another example of how publishers are getting smarter about monetizing and rewarding their audiences and how brands are adopting free gifts as a way to acquire quality customers.” Launched in August 2012, Boomerang initially focused on enabling Facebook users to buy gift cards for friends from local businesses. By the end of last year, the company had expanded to offering national brands, and amped up its B2B gift card platform, which Boomerang expects to account for about half of its activity and investment moving forward, according to Tech Crunch.