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Retailers Sweeten eGift Card Deals for Last-Minute Shoppers

Last-minute shoppers rejoice, you now have a shopping day all your own.

Source: clickittogiftit.com

A group of retailers and restaurant chains have banned together to declare Dec. 23 "Click It to Gift It" day. The event will allow shoppers to buy egift cards and receive a variety of special incentives ranging from free gifts to special discounts to charitable donations.

The concept is a familar one. After all, when retailers wanted to promote online shopping, they got together and created Cyber Monday as a day of discounts and deals. Then, retailers promoted Free Shipping Dayas a way to spread the word that online retailers could get packages to customers in time for Christmas even late into the holiday season.

So it stands to reason, that a group organized by CashStar, a digital gifting and incentives company, would get together to promote electronic gift cards.

The retailers participating in the event include Williams-Sonoma , Dell , Gap , CVS and Staples , among others. Brinker International's Chili's, Yum Brands' Pizza Hut and Cheesecake Factory are a few of the restaurants taking part. The day will be promoted on each of the retailers' Web sites as well as through social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

Consumer Nation - Holiday Central Edition - See Complete Coverage
Consumer Nation - Holiday Central Edition - See Complete Coverage

There's also a portal site, www.clickittogiftit.com, where there is a full list of the participating retailers, restaurants and their offers.

Gift cards tend to become a more popular gift choice for shoppers as Christmas nears. This year, there is still plenty of shopping to do as a recent study by BigResearch found that the majority of Americans still have about half of their holiday shopping left to do.

Athough gift cards have surged in popularity, egift cards still have yet to become widely used. But as more and more retailers start to sell egift cards, their use is likely to grow.

The digital gift cards send an email to a recipient that can be redeemed at a store, and sometimes online, just like a plastic gift card. The advantage of these digital cards is that they can be sent at the last minute. While the capabilities of the cards vary from Web site to Web site, many allow shoppers the chance to personalize the gift with a message, a design or even upload a photo or video.

Staples, which will offer shoppers a $5 promotional egift card when they send $25, expects the event will be a great way of raising awareness about egift cards, said spokeswoman Karen Pevenstein.

The office supply chain began offering egift cards in November through CashStar.

"It's new for us," Pevenstein said. "It is a great way to make it easy for customers."

And with the personalization options, it doesn't need to look like the egift card was an afterthought.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com

Retail