Delightfully is an MIT startup that adds thoughtfulness to digital gifts. Through our web-service, gift givers can deliver gift cards, subscriptions, e-books, apps, games, and other digital gifts through interactive webpages made from their own content. The result is a digital gift that feels like a real gift.
We have a live product that has earned thousands of dollars in revenue and brought many a loved one to tears.
Delightfully's three founders come from engineering, design, and business backgrounds and share an obsession for user experience.
James Barabas is a PhD Candidate at MIT's Media Lab where he researched user perception and representing physical objects in digital form. He has previous startup experience and studied Computer Science at Cornell.
Gina Luciano is a designer and developer with years of experience building websites and web applications for startups. She previously combined her interests in design and technology at GroupM and at Brandeis, where she majored in Visual Culture and General Science.
Jason Shin is on a leave of absence from the MBA program at MIT's Sloan School of Management. He previously worked in technology as a Communications Officer in the United States Marine Corps.
Trends: As more and more of our lives become digital (as seen in the growth of collaborative consumption, software-as-a-service, subscription e-commerce, apps, e-books, gift cards, mobile money) there are more digital goods that make good gifts. But there is no way to feel good about giving them because giving a digital gift today means email or Facebook delivery and appears thoughtless.
Offline, consumers go to the mall, buy a gift, then spend a few extra dollars and minutes on how the gift is presented.
Another clear trend is the adoption of smartphones and tablets. These devices are loaded with technologies such as the touchscreen, GPS, camera, mic, accelerometer, etc that can be used to shape user experiences.
Overview: Delightfully is the gift-wrapping kiosk for e-commerce. Gift givers pay us to help them create a webpage that adds the thoughtfulness of the handwritten note to their digital gifts. Through our web service, givers can spend a few dollars and a couple minutes of their time to create a better experience for the recipient of their gift - an interactive webpage that brings out anticipation and demonstrates thoughtfulness. Here are examples of what we help create in under two minutes: delightfully.com/examples.html
Partnerships: Delightfully has partnered with merchants to add our wrapping service to the end of their checkout process, giving their customers an option to deliver their gift in a more meaningful way. You can find an example at www.bowanddrape.com/home/giftcard. In this way, we turn a merchant's customers into our customers. Merchants are collecting additional revenue (which is split between us), providing a better customer experience, and extending the reach of their gifts, which are now likely to be shared on social media. Gift givers can also come to delightfully.com to find and deliver a gift.
Go-to-market: We will create awareness of our service through (1) our merchant partnerships and (2) through word-of-mouth. The product of our service is a very meaningful, digital experience that we've seen gift recipients go out of their way to share on Facebook. We've seen hundreds of people visit our site because of one shared gift. We're currently building features to allow easy sharing. This is the second way we'll create awareness.
Proof: We tested this concept over the holiday season and demonstrated that 1) we can deliver an outstanding recipient experience, 2) that consumers are willing to pay time and money to create that experience, and 3) our merchant partnerships create a win for the merchant and customer. Our proof is in our several thousand dollars of revenue we earned in our testing over the holidays, the emails our customers sent us describing how their gift cards brought their loved ones to tears, and our satisfied merchant partners.
Our competitors focus on the gift giver, making it as few clicks as possible to send a gift. They make it very easy to send a casual or last-minute gift. We focus on the gift recipient, allowing the givers to put in their time and effort to deliver a better experience. Our service helps people spend more time, which requires a 180 degree shift for companies like Wrapp and Facebook. Our competitive advantage is the speed of our learning, which will lead us to be the first to form partnerships with merchants. By integrating into the merchant checkout process, we create high switching costs for merchants and a barrier to any competition. WIth access to many merchants gifts, we'll also collect data on the gifting across the internet.