Gift giving is changing––from how we shop to how we ship. Virtual malls, like Amazon and Etsy, are saving us on gasoline, headaches and legwork. Shipping gifts to friends and family is now an integrated process. But hang on to your hats, because gift giving is about to change again. Facebook has announced its new social gifting service. The model is totally seamless. You buy your gift, its recipient gets notified on Facebook that a gift is on the way and then it arrives on their doorstep. This new service does for physical goods what is already possible with digital gifts like online cards.
So why is Facebook diving into the realm of eCommerce? Here are some of the reasons:
1. Gift Cards are Already Big Business.
52 percent of American consumers purchased gift cards this past year. Online gift cards are becoming a big holiday item. Social gifting services, like the Facebook concept, are hoping to capture the data and addresses of the these online gift card shoppers to leverage physical gift giving.
2. Gift Cards = More Spending.
The gift card recipient usually spends beyond the value of the gift card––5.2 times on average. Retailers make money on both ends. This is a business paradigm that mints money.
3. Daily Deals Create Urgency.
Last year 20 percent of U.S. online shoppers purchased their holiday gifts through a limited time offer. The ubiquitous Facebook has a faithful, ready-made database ready and waiting for these short daily deals.
4. eCommerce is Working.
Amazon and other eCommerce models have proven the efficacy of online shopping and gift giving. Facebook will have to play catch up to succeed, but they are already a step ahead given their expansive online membership.