Facebook Drops Physical Gifts for Gift Cards

Facebook’s digital store is in for some big changes. While Facebook Gifts used to offer both physical and digital products, Facebook has chosen to do away with physical gifts in favor of selling only gift cards. The social network is also planning to expand the scope of their Facebook Card and bring more changes to their online gift store in an effort to bring in more revenue and perhaps finally bring greater popularity to Facebook Gifts.

Why the Change?

The switch from physical and virtual gifts to just gift cards came about because of user data on Facebook Gifts. 80% of purchases in the store were already going to gift cards rather than physical gifts. Selling only virtual gifts via the Facebook Card allows Facebook to cut down on costs for delivery, space, and management. Because Facebook Gifts is not a huge source of revenue for the company, bringing only a few million dollars out of their annual $1.81 billion, this change makes sense for Facebook.

The Facebook Card

Now that physical gifts have been eliminated, all purchases in the Facebook gift store will come in the form of the Facebook Card. This is a reusable gift card that can hold funds for multiple merchants; however, it must be loaded with money specifically for that merchant in order to be used. With physical gifts gone, Facebook is planning to add more merchants to the available options for the Facebook Card. While Facebook Gifts has yet to be particularly lucrative, this change will cut costs for Facebook and is a first step in their plan to revamp their online store.

More Changes to Gifts

In addition to eliminating physical gifts, Facebook is brining many more changes to their buying interface. First, Gifts will now open in a new landing page for the marketplace with individual URLs for brands that have gift shops. This makes linking to their Facebook store significantly easier for retailers. Second, Facebook is planning to tailor their recommendations for Gifts more closely to your friends’ personal information, making them more relevant and likely to lead to sales. As PC World notes, Facebook Gifts has yet to really take off as a form of commerce. Hopefully, this renovation to the interface will prove successful.

Does your brand plan to become a part of Facebook Gifts?

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Elizabeth K

Elizabeth Kent is a recent graduate with an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. She earned her B.A. from Smith College with a major in the Study of Women and Gender and a minor in Jewish Studies. Elizabeth recently relocated from the Boston area back to Western Massachusetts, where she spends her free time volunteering with a local non-profit organization. Elizabeth has worked as a writing tutor, archival intern, research assistant, and retail associate. Her interests include studying pop culture, kittens, and making meals with as little cooking as possible.

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