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Wrapp using Facebook to target back-to-school shoppers

The free gift card service wants to capitalize on the profitable market, and showcases another way to make money off the social network.


Wrapp, the Facebook app that lets people give freebie gift cards to their friends, is hoping to gain traction with back-to-school shoppers.

The company, which is shaking up e-commerce on Facebook, continues to grow, bringing some more big name-brands to attract new gifters, the company announced today. These brands include Dockers, Levis, Office Depot, Rovio's Angry Birds online shop, Zappos, and Roots.

Wrapp's business model combines targeted marketing with social metrics. As CNET wrote earlier this year:

"Wrapp will look at the person you're thinking of, figure out where they are and how valuable they are to the Wrapp partners, and display for you a number of potential gift card option. For example, if you're looking at getting something for your fashionable girlfriend, you might see a $10 gift card from H&M you can give her -- at no cost to you," Rafe Needleman wrote for CNET.

"You can add on to the gift card value (and you'd better, you lout), to give her $100 (at a $90 cost). Or you can just cheap out and go for the freebie. Either way, H&M gets a good potential customer into the store, and for a very reasonable (to H&M) expense of only $10," Needleman added.

Backed by the co-founders of Skype and LinkedIn, Wrapp joins many other emerging e-commerce companies trying to change how money is made on Facebook's platform, such as Karma, which Facebook acquired in May, or a recently launched Boomerang, which focuses on local deals.

But Wrapp offers an interesting twist on gift-giving through Facebook, enabling users for free to give gift cards with a modest monetary amount or to add to the amounts for a more substantial gift.

Back-to-school spending for school-age kids and college students is projected to hit $83.8 billion this year, according to the survey of 8,500 consumers conducted last month by BIGinsight for the National Retail Federation.

In other words,back-to-school shopping is a huge money maker, and Wrapp hopes to make money off Facebook's network by getting a piece of that action.