Facebook Ramps up its Ecommerce Capabilities with Gifts

Introducing Facebook Gifts

A hand holding a small blue gift box wrapped with a red ribbon and Facebook's logo on the side.

Members can select a gift for their friends from the available list on Facebook Gifts

Recently, Facebook announced its new e-commerce feature, ‘Facebook Gifts’. With the company now being publicly traded, there’s an expectation from shareholders for increased revenue streams. On September 27th, Facebook made an official announcement about this new feature. In essence, users can select a gift, attach a card, and send it. The recipient will see a preview of the gift on their timeline or receive it privately, and the actual gift will be delivered to their doorstep shortly after..

What Does This Mean for Retailers?

This development is exciting news for both online marketers and e-commerce businesses. The concept is straightforward: retailers and manufacturers can collaborate with Facebook to list their products as potential gift options. As of now, there’s no information regarding the pricing structure for adding products to the Facebook Gifts service. However, given the immense user base of Facebook, many retailers, both online and offline, might find this an irresistible opportunity, especially with the festive season around the corner. The anticipation is that many will be keen to feature their products on this platform.

How Does Facebook Gifts Work?

The process of using the Facebook Gifts service is designed to be user-friendly. Members can easily select a gift for their friends or acquaintances from the available list on Facebook Gifts. The steps involve clicking a button on a friend’s timeline, choosing a gift, selecting a card, reviewing the choice, and then sending it. The recipient will be instantly notified either through a post on their wall or via a private message. The simplicity and speed of this service is its convenience.

This is not a new idea for Facebook, it’s always been a core area that was intended for future development after it was first integrated into the social portal in February 2007. It experimented with users sending virtual gifts to their friends that would then appear on their profiles – the cost of adding a personalised message was $1.00.  This was soon followed (in May 2007) with the launch of Facebook’s Marketplace, a Craigslist-style of classified ads.

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What’s on Offer?

The range of products available through the Facebook Gift service is diverse, including books, apparel, soft toys, cakes, and gift vouchers from leading brands. There’s a possibility that Facebook might become a significant competitor to giants like Amazon with this venture. However, it’s also plausible that Amazon might leverage this platform to showcase its products. While users in the USA are already benefiting from this feature, there’s no word yet on when it will be rolled out in the UK. Nevertheless, Facebook is actively working on expanding this service globally.

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