Let the Internet Choose Your Mother's Day Present
Trying to pick the perfect Mother's Day gift can be a stressful experience -- you want to get it just right. You know what? It's OK to ask for help.
Trying to find the perfect gift that tells Mom "Thank you" or "You're appreciated" can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you have no idea where to begin. Thankfully, we live in a time when the Internet has given you the ability to ask random strangers or even computer programs for gift advice. Below are four different services, each one providing a different twist on helping you use the Internet to find the perfect Mother's Day present.
Currently available just for iOS users, Operator puts you in touch with product experts who can help you find the right gift. The app takes its name from the fact that it's designed to mimic a text conversation between yourself and the telephone operator.
After launching the app, you're asked to pick from a list of product categories that include fashion, shoes, beauty, home, electronics, and gifts. If you want something outside of those categories, just tap on the keyboard icon near the bottom of the screen and send your request. As you and the operator begin to talk, you'll be asked a few more questions to help narrow down the search. After a few minutes, gift ideas will show up in the chat; you can accept or reject the ideas, asking the person to tweak or start over on suggestions.
When the operator has found something you want, tap on "I'll Take It"and fill in the necessary information. Future order updates, such as tracking number will all be posted within the conversation thread.
Best of all, there's no fee for ordering through Operator. You pay for the product, and that's it. And if you find the item for cheaper, Operator will order from your preferred site or refund you the difference in cost.
Download Operator from the App Store and enjoy the time you just saved yourself from having to go to the mall.
A Private Concierge
Looking for a fancy restaurant to take mom or your wife for Mother's Day? Let Reserve do all of the work for you.
When using the app, you can view a list of your city's top restaurants, complete with a menu. When you find a place you want to reserve, you tap a few buttons and let the app take care of the rest. Alternatively, you can chat with a Reserve representative to discover a different restaurant or bounce dinner ideas back and forth.
Instead of receiving a check at the end of the meal, the restaurant will automatically charge your Reserve account with the receipt being pushed to the app on your phone.
The only downside to Reserve is that it's currently limited to New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Reserve charges a $5 fee to facilitate each reservation.
Send a Message For Flowers
Facebook recently announced it was adding chat bots to its Messenger service. Essentially, business can now create bots you chat and interact with within the Messenger app. CNN offers a chat bot for getting daily news updates, another bot named "Poncho" can give you daily weather forecasts, and 1800Flowers.com will help you, well... order flowers.
The easiest way to access the 1800Flowers.com chat bot is to use Facebook Messenger on your smartphone or tablet. Create a new conversation, select "1800Flowers.com" from the Bots section of the app. If you don't have a Bots section, you can always use the search bar to find the bot.
Once you start a conversation, you'll be asked for a delivery address. delivery date, select a category of floral arrangements, and then finally the flowers. Continue responding to the bot to complete the order.
A Magic Assistant
Maybe Mom just needs a "super-human" assistant to do chores around the house or run errands. Magic started as a company offering a similar service to Operator, and has now expanded its offering with Magic+.
Through Magic+ you can hire a personal assistant by the hour. $100 per hour, to be exact. The good news is that fee is prorated, down to the number of minutes you use the service for. So if Mom needs someone to call and set up the PTA meeting for next week, Magic+ could do that and charge only for the time required.
The sky's the limit with Magic+, allowing you to get creative and help give Mom a break.
You can sign up for Magic+ by sending a text to 83489 with the word "Plus" in the body.