Marketers and major brands are abuzz over "social gifting," a process in which consumers use social applications from companies such as Wrapp and CashStar to buy branded gift cards for one another. Advocates say the model drives e-commerce and real-world foot-traffic at minimal cost to retailers, but some analysts say social gifting may be receiving more attention than it deserves. "There is a promise and there is a reality. ... You can't just introduce a platform like this and expect it to deliver gold to everybody," Forrester Research's Sucharita Mulpuru says.

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