Web and mobile gifting service Sesame, which lets you browse and order themed gift sets online or from your iPhone, has now rolled out to iPad. The updated application lets you get a better feel for the gifts you’re ordering, by including “unboxing” videos that show how the gifts were packaged and what they look like in real life. In addition, “hot spots” now appear on gift set images, allowing you to click and learn more about the hand-picked items in each gift set.
On iPad, Sesame takes advantage of the larger screen size to show a featured image of a gift set it’s promoting, followed by images of 9 other gift sets. You can then browse for more sets and categories using the app’s navigation.
Alongside the news of the updated app, the company says it’s now going to be adding one new gift set per week leading up to the holidays, including new pampering gift sets, holiday travel gift sets, new baby gift sets, and those specific to the upcoming holidays, like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas gift sets. Currently, Sesame offers 75 gift sets – a big jump from the dozen-plus Sesame offered when it first launched back in November 2012.
Each gift set also comes with a personalized greeting card, individual item tags that identify the gifts, and an “enjoyment guide,” which explains what the items are and how they’re to be used in more detail.
Also new is the Address Book screen in Sesame, which has been revamped to be easier to use. You can also write out your personal message, and see how it will appear in the card, thanks to a virtual rendering above the form where you enter your text.
All the gifts ship in a blue-colored Sesame cardboard box, which makes them seem more “gift-like” than something you send via Amazon or traditional e-commerce websites.
Sesame is one of a handful of gifting applications that are attempting to ride the e-commerce wave where more users are shopping from their mobile devices, rather from their PCs. Though the overall customer numbers today may still be small – Sesame is just out of the top 50 in the “Catalogs” category on the App Store – the big bet here is that it will grow its business over time as online shoppers continue to make the shift to mobile. Not all its competitors have fared so well, however. Bond Gifts, for instance, recently pivoted away from mobile gifting to focus solely on its handwritten note service instead.
Meanwhile, the Sesame app is one of many from mobile gifting company Sincerely, which also lets you order greeting cards, photo postcards and even flowers from your phone, through its suite of applications. The company was acquired by Provide Commerce last November, in an all-cash deal. Now Provide Commerce, which is the e-commerce business behind a number of big-name brands, including ProFlowers, Shari’s Berries, Red Envelope, and Personal Creations, is being acquired itself, by flower industry giant FTD Companies for $430 million in stock and cash. Being owned by an even larger company will have its own challenges of course, but it also means that Sincerely’s suite of applications can continue to grow and scale as long as FTD wants to fund their existence, even if it takes time for the services to become independently profitable.
The new Sesame iPad app is here.