Composed by Melissa Juron
Edited by Sarah Mejia
In the realm of social media, burgeoning changes have taken place over the preceding years. Much has evolved in means of communication. Speed, instant connections, and web based video chat have replaced written “snail mail.” Facebook is known as a powerhouse in the industry along with Twitter and LinkedIn. Innovative changes have occurred inside Facebook Inc, and on the cusp is a product that is part of a series of initiatives to turn Facebook’s business from advertising to e-commerce.
According to The Wall Street Journal article, “Facebook Initiative Is Gift to Investors” by Rolfe Winkler, Facebook is estimated to bring in a revenue of only 40 cents per user per month in 2012 sales, mainly from advertising. With many users gaining access to the website through mobile devices, (where the advertising market has barely entered) the desire for new methods of earning revenue arrived. To investors, Facebook currently lacks appeal. However, the new initiatives, still in planning stages, may increase potential revenue beyond expectation.
Facebook Gifts is the new product that would enable users to send items directly to each other using a “gift” button. Under birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasion announcements, users would have the ability to click a menu and send gifts. Merchants will leap to have their items strategically placed amongst others to maximize visibility.
If users have their credit card number stored on Facebook for gift giving, business may be capable of adding commerce directly to their current business pages. As it stands now, one must seek out a company by its name in the search bar to gain knowledge about a particular brand or business. Then, one would have to go to another website or to a brick and mortar store to make a purchase. If companies added a “buy” button on their already popular Facebook page, sales would skyrocket due to convenience to users spending sizeable amounts of time already visiting Facebook. Express, a clothing company, uses a similar direct commerce strategy that has been effective thus far. They have 2,851,409 “likes” on their page and recently incorporated a “Shop our Catalog” tab. It is similar to their online site, however the new Facebook initiatives will store credit card information and send gifts instantly through drop down menus to specific Facebook friends.
In a blog examining Facebook’s e-commerce social gifting initiative, Matthew Brown looks at the main reasons the strategic push toward gift sending will be successful. Gift cards, a popular choice for future Facebook Gifts, are one of the most popularly purchased holiday gifts with 52% of U.S consumers purchasing gift cards last year. In addition, most recipients of gift cards spend on average 5.2 times the gift card total in the store. This is attractive to businesses looking to sell gift cards on Facebook.
According to Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, Facebook should be placed amongst the top three platforms of Apple, Amazon, and Google. He encouraged that Facebook “can make money.” I’m certain all investors of Facebook would “Like” that.
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