As we all know, yesterday Facebook introduced Facebook Gift Cards. Suddenly there was a rush of websites weighing in on their opinions about Facebook’s new service, and I was surprised to see so many writers bagging on it so hardcore. I realize it’s trendy to call anything that Facebook does lame, but have they thought this through? Here are the reasons why I think Facebook Gift Cards will be a huge success.
Let’s think about the regular process for sending and receiving a gift card. If you want to send someone a gift card, you have to first decide on the place to purchase it from which in itself is a massive undertaking. You can usually have the person sent an email with the details of their card, but since that doesn’t feel like a gift to the receiver, you’d probably go to the trouble of getting the person’s physical address to send it in the mail. This could require two or three emails back and forth.
When that person receives it, he or she will be joyous and thank you, and then promptly lose the card or forget about it. Statistics on gift cards show that a large percentage of the money spent on cards never gets used.
Now let’s look at the Facebook Gift Cards system. First of all, you have four choices of stores. No need to get overwhelmed there. Just pick one of the four. I’ll admit it would be nicer to have a few more choices, but I’m sure those will come later. Bottom line – Easy.
You can purchase it all on a familiar UI right on Facebook without having to click over to another site, establish a log in, type in the information about yourself and the recipient, deal with a bunch of email spam because of that purchase, etc. Easy.
You don’t have to find the person’s physical address to get the card sent in the mail. Facebook will take care of that. Easy.
The person who receives it won’t forget about it since they can keep up with the balance on the card through their Facebook account. Easy.
The card can be reloaded with dollars from different stores all stored on the same card. If the person loses their card, they can reactivate a new one through Facebook. Easy.
You see what I’m saying here? Some people are calling this a system for lazy people. I suppose the people who are saying that would prefer to do it the hard way. To me, optimization is key, and there is a big difference between easy and lazy. Sure, you probably wouldn’t purchase Facebook Gift Cards for your best friend’s wedding gift or something important like that, but for every day stuff, it’s a great way to let someone know you’re thinking about him or her.
Then there is the whole brilliance behind combining social media and retailing. As we have reported many times, retailers are in one of the few industries that haven’t boomed yet as a result of social media. The retail industry is on the cusp of that exponential growth as they find their place in social media. This will most likely happen in 2013, and we’ve already seen hints of that with some of the interactive shopping videos on YouTube. Facebook Gift Cards are right there to capitalize on it all when it hits.
So the next time you hear someone talking about how lame these new Facebook Gift Cards are, just smile, nod and watch what happens. I have a feeling these are going to be huge. You can read more about this on Mashable, Wired or All Things D.
What Is Your Opinion About The New Facebook Gift Cards Service?
Image Credits: [Mashable]