You're walking down the street, shopping, waiting in an airport or stuck in a long meeting, and you suddenly remember that you need to send a birthday, thank-you, get well or holiday gift. Or you just start thinking about how much a friend or family member means to you and want to show your appreciation with an out-of-the-blue "just because" gift. In the past couple of years, apps have risen to the challenge of helping mobile consumers give thoughtful gifts with a few taps on their smartphones. Here are some of the latest, best and most creative of the bunch.
Punkpost is a cool app that lets you send unique and beautifully personalized high-end cards with the ease of sending a text message. Just choose your card from a group of collections by indie artists, type your message, pick a contact and Punkpost will take care of the rest. An actual artist will hand write your message, and you can track your card to see when it arrives. You can even choose to include confetti for a truly special delivery. Punkpost can also remind you of upcoming birthdays, and lets you schedule card deliveries up to a year in advance.
Sesame is an on-the-go gifter's dream. The app lets you send themed gift boxes (think gift baskets, but with better-curated contents) for nearly every type of situation, from congratulating new parents to get well gifts. There are over 75 themed boxes in a wide range of prices to choose from, including "Sundae Funday," "For the Love of Golf" and "Bon Voyage," and they come hand-packed with custom tags and enjoyment guides.
Bouqs has taken the hassle and hidden expense out of giving flowers. The Bouqs app lets you send fresh, sustainably farmed bouquets to anyone for a flat $40 fee with free shipping in the U.S. Bouqs focuses on the flowers and promises not to try to upsell you on Teddy bears or chocolates, and they even offer special services like local bouquets delivered within 2 hours of ordering, regular deliveries and a system that saves your contacts' address information and flower preferences for 2-click ordering.
Zeel is a unique app that lets you send a licensed massage therapist to a friend or loved one's home with just a few taps. (You can also order one for yourself!) Therapists are vetted by the company and can also go to offices or hotel rooms for a last-minute stress-relieving session the receiver will no doubt appreciate.
And because sometimes an e-card is the most appreciated gift, Verizon Messages lets you send one straight from your phone to the receiver’s phone with just a few taps, along with a personal message. Verizon customers can send gift cards in values from $5 to $100 to over 30 national chain stores such as Starbucks and Amazon, and the best part is the receiver can redeem their e-gift straight from their smartphone. Verizon also allows you to send the gift of a gig of data to other Verizon customers.