I don’t often use shopping apps, but when I do they are amazing. Or something like that. Karma is a social shopping app that not only helps you remember birthday’s but lets you send gifts directly from your phone. Crazy, eh?
Karma is a cute app. It’s well designed and the developers have taken care to actually explain what the app is and how it works (subsequently making this review a cinch).
Even I’ll admit that whole sending a gift from my phone mess sounds sketchy, but Karma does a good job of explaining it and using stock photos of people that smile. The whole app seems to have fresh LivingSocial-like feel to it.
To send a gift to someone you can either “Start A New Gift” and browse to pick something or start with selecting a contact. The is designed to integrate with Facebook, so the app will nag you to add your account at every turn. If you’re a little bit sketched out by the Facebook aspect of it you can also import your contacts into the app, which are then uploaded to Karma’s servers.
It isn’t really clear why you can’t simply select from your existing contacts, but I doubt you’ll be one concerned about privacy if you’re using this app in the first place.
After entering your Facebook account, you can automatically see birthdays and other life events that make for good occasions for gift giving.
Once you’ve selected your gift or contact the app prompts you to select a card for it, which is really a cute concept. All of the cards some sort of snappy text like “Congrats! Way to go, You.” Again, totally giving Karma a fresh and young feel to it. You can even add a personal message if you like.
Now, once you’ve selected your gift and contact, Karma will ask you how to notify your recipient. You can either e-mail, text or Facebook message your recipient who will receive a link where they can enter their shipping details.
You’d think that the products on something on this would suck. They don’t. From espresso sets to wine, most of the gifts are generic enough to fit anyone’s taste, but without, again, sucking horribly at life. I won’t say the selection is vast, but as a relatively new app I’m surprised at the selection and most things aren’t that expensive.
Oh, FYI, this costs money. The gifts are of course not free. You can enter in a credit card directly from the app. The app also lets you earn Karma points, which are sort of like frequent flyer points for gifting through Karma.