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Facebook to revamp gift card offerings

August 28, 2013

Gift cards continue to be a major source of revenue for retailers everywhere.

Gift cards continue to be a major source of revenue for retailers everywhere. Facebook is looking to innovate the way that they sell promotional gift cards and the way that consumers use them, according to a report from All Things D. 

The social media network originally instituted a system where users could pay to send each other digital gifts, but now will be altering their marketplace to focus on gift cards and other digital goods, according to the news report. Representatives from the company attributed the changes to user demand, illustrating a collective interest in gift cards from their consumer base.

“We’re really making the decision based on user feedback,” Lee Linden, head of Facebook’s Gifts program, told the news source. “The physical stuff is interesting for sure, but our goal is to build stuff that’s really great for the majority of people who are using it.”

The new system will direct users to a marketplace where they can select and purchase gift cards from a growing stable of participating retailers, currently including brand such as Starbucks, Apple’s iTunes, Target and more, according to the news source. Facebook’s transition displays the need for retailers to install the payment processing equipment needed to sell and accept credit cards. Customers will be able to load denominations from multiple brands onto one individual card, offering them an economical way to carry gift cards for multiple locations all at once. Linden believes that the increased efficiency offered by allowing consumers to combine multiple gift card payments onto one physical electronic card will help increase interest in the market. The program will be fully functional before the end of the week. 

Customers continue to use mobile wallets and special offers
A recent study suggests that many consumers are interested in the type of expedited payment options offered by Facebook. A recent poll of shoppers by Vibes showed that 59 percent of American consumers would see their perception of a retailer change for the better if that retailer offered digitized mobile wallet content, such as special offers or loyalty cards. 

Another 44 percent of non-mobile wallet users think that such a tool would enhance their shopping experience, illustrating the fact that retailers can improve customer goodwill by finding new ways to optimize payment processing capabilities and gift card offerings, the report added.

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