Twenty years ago giving a gift to a friend or family member thousands of miles away wasn’t easy. Often the process involved physically buying a gift, packing it, waiting in line for postage, and shipping it to the recipient. With the evolution of the internet, giving gifts online became significantly easier and now features an array of gift options ranging from traditional “brown box” solution to luxurious “white glove” packaging and wrapping. While the concept of giving a gift online isn’t necessarily new, the way people give gifts online is undergoing some changes thanks to social media.
Giving gifts online in the past would require the sender to know information about the recipient, in particular a shipping address and sometimes even more personal information such as an e-mail address or a telephone number. This isn’t easily accessible information in some instances, unless of course you specifically ask recipients, which then often spoils the surprise of the gift itself.
To bridge this gap between the sender and the recipient, companies are now looking to utilize social media information provided by recipients on social networks. This concept is being dubbed as “social gifting”, and while there have been social gifting solutions in place in the past, Facebook has announced they are launching their own social gifting service for not only digital goods (such as online gift cards) but also physical goods. This is a huge eCommerce initiative for Facebook and will likely impact the concept of “Facebook Commerce” as a whole.
So why is Facebook making such a strong push into the gift segment of eCommerce? Here are a few reasons…