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How to order gift cards using Alexa

Need a last minute gift? Don't run to the store. Just ask Alexa.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Combine the simplicity of a gift card with the ease of shopping with Alexa, and you've got a Christmas magic. Maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but when you're stressed about going into crowded stores while trying to figure out what to buy that person who has everything, Alexa's new gift card ordering skill -- GiftJoy -- seems like a bona fide holiday miracle.  

For those of you that think gift cards are a cop-out present, guess again. According to the 2018 National Retail Federation report, gift cards are primed to be the most popular holiday gift on people's wish list for the 12th year in a row. In fact, around 60 percent of the people surveyed said they would like a gift card in their present pile.

Now that I've shared that tidbit, here's what you need to know to order gift cards with Alexa.

What kind of cards can I order?

The GiftJoy Alexa skill works with over 100 retailers. Some popular choices include Barnes & Noble, Nordstrom, Target, Starbucks, Fandango, Sephora, Kohl's, Applebee's, Domino's, Uber, Old Navy and Nike. You can find a complete list of retailers here.

How to order a gift card

Ordering a gift card with the GiftJoy skill takes a few steps, but it's still easier than going to the store. 

First, enable the skill by going to the GiftJoy Alexa skill page. Next, say, "Alexa, ask GiftJoy to send a gift card to (name)." Alexa will then guide you through the purchase and sending process. 

After that, you'll get a text message with a link to your order. When you click on the link, it will take you to a page where you can either confirm your order or edit it.

Once the order is complete, your friend or family member will get a text message with a link to their gift. They can use their gift card online or in a store. If they really don't like the card, they can swap it for a card from another retailer for free.

It's not too late to send greeting cards. Here's how to use Alexa to send holiday greeting cards.

How to use Alexa's new Wait feature