by Allen Weiner | May 9, 2013 | Comments Off on Marketers Should Look Past Facebook’s Commerce Missteps
Facebook’s recent earnings call was noteworthy to those who follow the social network’s commerce path in that its “Gifts” program was not mentioned in a review of its various revenue-generating efforts. In the weeks leading up to the call, Facebook CFO David Ebersman said that gifts’ contribution to revenue had been “very small” for 2012 and would likely remain so in 2013.
The voice of Facebook’s partners provides some insight into the anemic start to Gifts, which launched in various stages through the latter part of 2012. One of the launch partners, 1-800-FLOWERS, a “digital commerce” veteran with more than 20 years of market experience, said Facebook’s Gifts has not lived up to its expectations. Facebook is responding by sending out more frequent reminders to its members even when those pokes seem awkwardly presented (i.e. when watching a video or engaging in a real-time chat).
Aside from issues with its presentation to its members, Gifts is a non-starter to many merchants because Facebook will not share order capture details (name, address, email) with the merchant or buyers’ credit card information. Such a policy gives Facebook the appearance of being totally self serving in its Gifts program wanting only to amass buyer behavior information and credit card numbers to add to its growing pile of big data. Facebook is laboring under the false impression that it is able to impose limitations on what information it shares with its merchant partners because Apple and Amazon have succeeded in that practice.
Some pundits believe Facebook’s expansion of its mobile efforts will provide a shot in the arm for this social commerce experiment. The truth is, until Zuck and company realize the company’s value is more as a conduit for commerce than as a destination Facebook will limp along in its efforts to build a viable commerce revenue stream. While they’re at it, if they want to improve their standing with brands and marketers, a glance in the mirror by Facebook’s leadership, with the realization they have neither sold millions upon millions of mobile devices nor books should result in a re-calibration of their commerce vision.
Read Complimentary Relevant Research
Predicts 2017: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is changing the way in which organizations innovate and communicate their processes, products and services. Practical...
View Relevant Webinars
How to Live Without Mobile Device Management
This webinar addresses the growing trend of users refusing to have enterprise management of their mobile devices due to privacy concerns....
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.