Retailers Hope Tapping into Facebook Will Boost Their Holiday Gift Card Sales

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Two articles today cover retailers who are using Facebook as a way to promote e-gifting. While tapping into social media makes sense, these programs only touch the surface of what is possible. One of the main values of social media to bring a number of people together, and there is no reason this can’t be done with virtual gifting. So far, though, these programs seem to be self-limiting by focusing on one giver and one recipient. They could be opened up to multiple people on both sides. The first, and article from the Associated Press, describes how Sears is offering gift cards in $5 increments up to $25 on its Facebook page to make “gifting easier.”

Read the full AP Article at: http://www.wane.com/dpps/entertainment/consumer_tech/new-ways-of-gifting-nt10-jgr_3645708

NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook and other social media sites are changing how Americans receive and buy gifts.

Sears Holdings Corp., which operates Kmart and Sears, Roebuck and Co. stores, announced Thursday the launch of “eGifting” on its Facebook pages. With this program, the company said consumers can purchase eGift cards in $5 increments up to $25. These eGift cards will be posted on the recipient’s Facebook

wall or personal e-mail account.

Ebay has created a group gifting service, which shows some of the potential of social networks.

For those who want people to chip in for a gift, there’s always group gifting. Online retailer eBay.com

launched an online group gift-buying service to make it easier to stretch your budget and spread the gifting around this holiday season.

The second, from a Web site called Inventorspot.com notes that ColdStone Creamery and Dots are also getting in on the action and that Starbucks and Amazon.com have their own connections to Facebook, with Amazon letting gifts be delivered directly to a Facebook friend’s wall.

Sears, Kmart, Coldstone Creamery and Dots are jumping on the Facebook Gift Card bandwagon in a big way with a program called eGift Social. Using this promotional option, Facebook users can pick out any gift from any of these stores

, select the Facebook friends you want to send it to and then deliver your gifts virtually via Facebook and/or email.

One of the reasons, I think this program will spread virally this holiday season is due to the shear numbers of Facebook members that exist today. With the user base scaling past 500 million, sending real gifts in real-time breaks down the barriers of brick-and-mortar shopping and allows users to gift folks they may only know online

– and may never have sent a gift to otherwise!

Read the inventorspot.com article at: http://inventorspot.com/articles/social_media_holiday_gifting_goes_virtual_facebook_gift_cards

See the Mercator Advisory Group blog in PaymentsJournal about social gifting: Social Media Will Help Drive New Closed-Loop Gift Card Sales?