By Sumit Passary | Nov 13, 2012 09:05 AM EST
On Saturday, Nov. 10, Apple activated its digital gift card purchasing option from the Apple Store app, alongside its online store, with which customers can buy and send Passbook-ready digital gift cards via e-mail to friends and family.
Apple first announced the Passbook-capable gift cards when the Apple Store app was updated earlier this week; however, the digital gift cards were not made available for purchase until Nov.11.
Customers who want to send gift cards can visit Apple Store app's homepage and the gift card banner will be available at the bottom of the page. Customers can select digital certificates for physical Apple Stores, which can be either delivered to a recipient's postal or e-mail address. iTunes cards are also available, which can be delivered by mail only.
Once a recipient has received the digital gift card they can print the e-mail and take it to an Apple store, use it to shop online, or download the gift card to the user's iOS Passbook app for storage as a Quick Response (QR) code. The QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that can be read using smartphones and dedicated QR reading devices.
The usage of digital gift cards has increased in recent years. In Dec. 2011 more than one in four digital gift cards were sold between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24.
"During the five days prior to Dec. 19, the percentage of sales for merchants who offer both plastic and e-gift cards was 22.57% of the total month's sales," indicated a Giftango report (via Internet Retailer).
Apple has launched its fourth-generation iPads, the iPad mini and Retina iPad just before the holiday season making the iPads one of the most wanted devices during the holiday season.
With the launch of its digital card gift time will tell if Apple can see sales at its physical and online store increases during the holiday season.
© 2013 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.