Building an e-commerce website

The Card Network (TCN) is one of Australia’s largest gift card providers, retailing millions of dollars worth of gift cards, largely through in-store supermarket transactions.

TCN identified an opportunity to build an e-commerce marketplace for all types of gift cards. IE supported TCN in co-creating the wonderful Card.Gift.

TCN’s goal was to unlock a digital distribution channel and diversify its channel mix. IE was engaged by TCN in collaboration with branding and design agency The Company You Keep (TCYK) to develop, design, and deliver a modern and contemporary e-commerce marketplace supported by best-in-class data and analytics. Together, we developed a brand identity for Card.Gift to make the entire experience of giving a gift card more personal and connected.


How might we transform the way we give a gift card into a more connected and personal experience?

Gift cards are a popular and easy idea for a present, especially when you don't know exactly what to give someone. However, through customer research, we discovered several negative associations with gift cards. Our challenge was to change people’s perceptions with a new way of gifting, adding true personality through a fresh and innovative digital platform. This would leverage data and analytics to aid decision-making around future improvements.

Gift cards are seen as impersonal:

The idea of a gift card has become associated with a lack of consideration: an easy way out for a last-minute present.

Card.Gift needed to reimagine the gift card experience:

The gift card industry is already saturated, with many players offering gift card services through a basic e-commerce platform. To compete, Card.Gift had to be different.

Creating another sales channel:

Card.Gift has significant partnerships with major retailers. But a significant portion of the gift card market is online. Thus, it made sense to also leverage this powerful channel to build direct relationships with its customers.

Card.Gift is more than a gift card. It’s a chance to create memories, a chance to create gratitude, and a chance to create happiness.
Nick Sims, CEO of The Card Network

In conjunction with TCYK we designed a modern and contemporary, Swiss-inspired web experience.


IE facilitated a diagnostic and opportunities workshop leveraging experts across four key areas:

  • Commercial product
  • Customer experience
  • Technology
  • Data analytics

The four-day diagnostic encompassed vision and mission, business modelling, assumption mapping, future state architecture, proto-personas, and data strategy. This flowed into our design sprint allowing for robust risk mitigation strategies, ideation, and product design. The aim of this approach was to view the challenge through IE’s product-led mindset. This involves balancing between three key considerations: the desirability for the customer, the viability for the business, and the feasibility of the technology. It enabled us to:

  • Develop the current and future product roadmap,
  • Understand the customers, their needs, and their pain points,
  • Build out a technical solution that best meets these goals while minimising tech debt, and
  • Identify the most important metrics that will determine success across each of these dimensions.

This framework builds on a solid foundation of reliable primary data sources and highlights how at each level an organisation increases their ability to use data to make more informed decisions within their operating context.


The goal was to transform the way we give a gift card into a warmer, more considered experience. Thanks to our incredible cross-functional team encompassing engineering, CX, delivery, and analysts of all stripes, we delivered a beautifully intuitive set of interactions that reimagine how personal a gift card can be.

To assist TCN in making future adjustments and changes our engineers ensured all the key elements within the content management system (CMS) are editable for easy content management in future. This allows card information, collections, designs, and feature cards to be updated by non-coders as campaigns change based on seasonality and performance data from various offerings.

Making the virtual feel physical

Using collection sliders to display the cards, visitors feel as though they are leafing through physical products on a store shelf. It also offers familiar categories for people looking to easily find specific brands or types of gift cards.

Video messaging

During the card customisation flow, a giver can upload and record a video message for the recipient. This adds a personal touch that brings the connectedness and bond-forming aspect of in-person gift-giving to the virtual space.

Tactile unboxing experience

The giver can also include a written message for the recipient. This is revealed during redemption in a fun, tactile way, to provide an immersive experience of ‘unboxing’ the card. The skeuomorphic way that recipients slide the card out of a sleeve further blurs the boundaries between the virtual and physical experience.

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