Not surprisingly, gift services are big during the holiday season, and the makers of the popular app Postagram won’t be left behind. The team behind Postagram, which sends real-life paper postcards of your photos to friends, is hopping on the gifting wagon and debuting Sesame on Thursday, a iOS-only app that allows users to pick from a curated set of gift boxes and have them sent to friends and family.
“Sesame is the first non-card gift we’ll be offering,” said Matt Brezina, CEO of parent company Sincerely and former co-founder of YC-backed email management company Xobni. “What we’ve found is that most happiness comes not from stuff but from experiences.”
Right now, Sesame allows users to pick from 13 different gift sets aimed at particular groups of people typically oriented around an experience or activity — like a drink set for the cocktail-inclined, for example. Brezina said they’ll be adding more gifts over time and for holidays. The gift boxes will include several items, like the “Ultimate Unwind” box, which includes rose bath salts, a linseed-scented soy candle, and gourmet chocolate truffles.
It’s true that you can order almost anything your heart desires on Amazon these days, and shipping prices are dropping by the day. So why would someone pay more ($29 or $49) for a present they could theoretically put together themselves?
Brezina is hoping that well-designed packaging and a beautiful presentation will elevate the gift above the traditional ecommerce purchase, and putting together groups of gifts that can be ordered via iPhone or iPad for a particular experience will attract busy but thoughtful gifters.
“They can send you any product,” he said of traditional retailers. “But that’s not very unique. It’s not very remarkable.”
While Brezina is ready to make the transition from postcards to presents with more than 800,000 household addresses in his database, it will be interesting to see if his customers make the transition as well. I could easily see spending 99 cents on a postcard (the same as a song on iTunes) without much thought, but I would hesitate more before purchasing a gift box. But if Brezina can get Postagram users to think about spending more money, he could join groups like Birchbox that have clearly capitalized on user excitement to buy and receive collection boxes online.