Recent trends around social media as a platform for gift card sales suggest that Facebook will likely become a huge trafficker of gift cards in the coming years.
In fact, new Facebook applications and early adopter brands will push the trend forward this holiday season. Case in point: Sears and Kmart have become the latest mass merchant retailers to start selling gift cards through their Facebook Pages, just in time for the holiday season.
The two retailers are actually employing eGift Social — a Facebook application readily available to other merchants as well — to power their Facebook gifting program.
Shoppers can visit Sears and Kmart Facebook Pages to purchase themed gift cards for most occasions, holiday-branded ones included, to send to their Facebook friends. The Facebook-purchased gift cards are redeemable in stores or online, and are even posted to the recipient’s Wall (or sent via e-mail).
The two retailers join the ranks of Starbucks and Amazon, two brands also tapping into the friend-to-friend gift card exchange opportunities that Facebook affords.
The online gift card industry is booming and is projected to hit nearly $6 billion by 2014, according to a February report from Javelin Strategy & Research. Realistically, buying and sending gift cards through Facebook is the next logical distribution channel.
As more and more gift card stores find their way inside Facebook, we suspect consumers will respond to the convenience of these digital storefronts and replace the trip to the supermarket’s gift card aisle or the mall with an online visit to Facebook instead.
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