The final shopping days before the holidays can be harried for e-commerce retailers aiming to appease last-minute shoppers — namely with the sites that don’t yet have same-day delivery. It’s an issue that’s been on Shauna Mei’s mind for quite some time.
The chief executive officer and founder of the seven-year-old online concept store, Aha Life, has been working on developing a way for her clients and their “giftees” to get instant gratification — with or without the physical gift in hand. As such, the company has launched an app that is not only optimized for mobile shopping on a smartphone, it links to a customer’s Facebook and phone contacts to alert them that a gift has arrived. The concept goes as follows: The gift-giver selects a present for a loved one on the app, it then links to their contacts on his or her smartphone and the gift recipient gets a whimsically designed holiday card in the form of a text message and an image of what the gift is. The recipient can then opt to accept or exchange — Aha Life will cover exchange for a more expensive item within five dollars — and enter their shipping information.
“We wanted to create technology to match the gifting mechanism that our customers are so drawn to on our site,” Mei said. “The app was created with this idea that gifting, shopping and discovery are all inherently social things. We wanted a way to easily enable the social experience of shopping and gifting, and create the same moment of excitement and sharing that comes with receiving a gift in person, digitally.”
The site has a robust gift guide featuring men’s and women’s apparel, but is more focused on design and home and lifestyle items. Their gift guide ranges from a $46 spill-proof and stackable Saturn Red Wine Glass from Superduperstudio to a private estate on a tropical island 47 miles from NYC for a cool $22.8 million.