After the almost complete failure of Facebook Marketplace, the social networking giants Facebook have come up with something a little more ‘one-click’ to fulfil our social shopping whims – Facebook Gifts.
With new Facebook Gifts, users can send real items, including clothing, flowers, chocolates and vouchers to friends without needing to know anything more than that person’s name. The recipient can then choose sizes and colours before entering their own delivery information. then the item is sent directly to them by Facebook’s partners in a special branded gift box. While this sounds fantastic for consumers, how useful is it going to be for retailers.
Currently, the scheme is only available in a few US cities and has around 100 companies involved, including global coffee chain Starbucks — who will be offering gift vouchers. Partnering with Facebook to offer your products as gift options sounds like a fantastic opportunity for any business, be it a global chain or an independent sole trader.
Obviously, Facebook will be taking a cut of all sales made through Gifts, but there seems to be no information available on how much that will be. In fact, the only information to be found on partnering with them is “please contact us.” Good news for the big guns that have the power to negotiate rates but this can be daunting for any small retailer.
Small retailers that sell beautiful gifts with large profit margins could benefit from this scheme, regardless of what Facebook plans to charge. It’s an opportunity to get your products seen to Facebook’s one billion users.
Despite this slight pricing worry, many retailers will no doubt be chomping at the bit to have their products available when Gifts is finally rolled out in the UK, the date of which is yet to be confirmed. So it’s probably safe to assume that Facebook won’t be making anything like the 30% they make through their virtual currency, Facebook Credits.
I’m sure that once Gifts has been running for a while in the US and we have a release date for the rest of the world, there will be more information available on what sort of deal retailers are being offered. Until then, let’s just hope they manage to get some great UK-based retailers involved who could benefit from a bit more exposure.
Facebook continues to update their social media platform, it is worth following their blog to ensure you don’t miss any of the latest changes (the ones they tell us about anyway!).