Maybe it’s the heat … I received news this week about a partnership between Cold Stone Creamery and First Data Corp. that sounded so cool I had to share it with you. It seems that First Data, an e-commerce and payment processing provider, and Cold Stone Creamery (you know what it is!), are offering a new gifting application through Facebook. Starting this week, Cold Stone fans can easily send a tangible “item-level” gift (e.g., ice cream creations, shakes) to a friend or loved one’s Facebook account or email address.
Cold Stone Creamery is the first merchant to launch a gifting program using the First Data eGift Social solution, according to a First Data press release. (Note: I learned about the eGift Social solution at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in June and wrote about it here.)
Here’s how it works:
- Consumers access First Data’s eGift Social application through Cold Stone’s Facebook page or website and select one or multiple friends to send gifts to either by adding them to the application from Facebook or entering their email addresses.
- Senders select which products they’d like their friends to receive, add a personal message and proceed through the secure checkout process.
- Recipients receive a Facebook message, email or both, with an alert that they’ve received a gift, the account number and redemption instructions.
- Visiting any participating Cold Stone location, recipients redeem the eGift item in a flavor of their choice by using the account number at the point of sale.
”We’re making it easier for people to share a Cold Stone moment, even if time or distance prevents them from being together,” Daniel Been, president of Cold Stone Creamery said in a press release. “Now you don’t have to wait for special occasions to share ice cream; you can send Cold Stone gifts instantly, any day, just because.”
All kidding aside about the heat, I think this is a really great use of social networking to increase in-store sales. And it’s fun, too. What do you think?