February 23, 2006, 12:00 AM

iMX Solutions launches click-to-shop gift cards

IMX Solutions is launching a new form of gift card that loads value onto a credit card-sized CD that includes retail product images users can click to make a purchase after inserting the card in their computers.

 

IMX Solutions is launching a new form of gift card that loads value onto a credit card-sized CD that includes retail product images users can click to make a purchase after inserting the card in their computers. "This is the first gift card for online shopping," Jim Downes, CEO of the Royal Oak, MI-based iMX Solutions, tells InternetRetailer.com.

The cards are designed to be either ordered from a retailer`s web site, where a purchaser would use a credit card to add value, or in physical stores already pre-loaded with value, Downes says. The cards have 64 megabytes of data storage, making it possible for retailers to insert product images, streaming video and other graphics. They`re also designed so that retailers can sell advertising space on them to product suppliers. The cards can also be re-loaded with value online.

Downes says iMX is in talks with several retailers, whom he was not free to name yet, and that he expects "10 major retail brands" to be offering the cards in the first quarter of this year.

"We`re seeing a growing interest in adding Internet gift cards as a new marketing channel this year," he says, citing recent industry reports on gift card usage. ”Gift cards are an underutilized marketing channel for web sites, as 18% of Christmas sales in 2005 were gift cards but only 1% of Internet transactions are paid for using prepaid cards."

 

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