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How To Increase Online Sales Through Facebook Gifts

by Kristi Hines

Facebook Gifts is a relatively new feature that allows businesses to offer up their products as gifts which can be purchased by Facebook users for their friends. This can be a great way to increase both your business’s exposure and sales through Facebook. In this post, we’re going to look at why you should try it if you have a product to sell, how it works, and some best practices.

Why Businesses Should Explore Facebook Gifts

First of all, let’s talk statistics. Facebook has more than a billion active monthly users, with over 163 million in the United States. The average user on Facebook has 130 friends.


The option to send a gift through Facebook is currently showing up for Facebook users in the United States for birthday and holidays. The most popular gift for birthdays is a Starbucks gift card. What does this mean for Starbucks?

  • Each time someone has a birthday, their friends are shown the option to get a Starbucks gift card. This puts Starbucks in their head, regardless of whether they are a Starbucks shopper or even a coffee drinker.
  • People who don’t normally go to Starbucks (or even live near one) have the ability to buy a Starbucks gift card for their friend. This means people who wouldn’t normally be a customer will be just for their friends.
  • People who might not normally go to Starbucks but receive a Starbucks gift card on their birthday could become regular customers again.
  • If they are stuck on what to get their friend, they might buy a Starbucks gift card for them at a store because of the suggestion on Facebook.

The Facebook Gifts result: increased exposure for their brand and increased sales among their customer base and beyond it.

How It Works for Average Facebook Users

When you click on the birthday notifications on the right side of your newsfeed, you will see a list of people with birthdays and which ones you can buy gifts for.

If one of your friends has had a life event (engagement, marriage, etc.), you may also see the option to buy them a gift for that occasion as well.

Gift suggestions are chosen based on the likes of the friend. If someone isn’t a fan of Starbucks but is a fan of iTunes (or just talks about it a lot on their profile), it might show the option to buy an iTunes gift card instead.

When you click on the link to buy the present, you are taken to the product description and options.

You also have the option to See More Gifts. Here you’ll see a directory full of different gift ideas, organized by popularity and category.

Facebook Gifts also shows up near holidays. For example, before Valentine’s Day, I had an option on my newsfeed to buy a Valentine’s Day gift for my husband. It popped up at the top of my newsfeed on my desktop and on the Facebook app. This means your business has the chance to increase sales throughout the year and especially around holidays.

Facebook Gifts can also be given for any occasion. You can visit a friend’s profile and click the Gift option on their Timeline profile.

Once you have selected a gift, you get the option to add a digital card and personalized message when you send it. You can also post it to your friend’s timeline. Your friend is then notified that you have sent them a gift.

They can then give Facebook their address if shipping is required. You will be notified when they have confirmed their shipping address (if necessary) and when they receive their gift. This makes it easy for you to buy gifts for the friends you know and even the ones you don’t know as well since you don’t even have to have their address to give them something.

What does this mean for businesses? Because it is available to so many Facebook members and it is this simple, it means the obvious: more exposure for your products and sales for your business.

Best Practices for Businesses

Once you have signed up for Facebook Gifts and have been approved, here are some best practices for getting your products purchased.

  • Build your fan base and get people talking about your business as gifts are suggested based on whether a person likes or engages about your business on their profile.
  • Offer gift cards. Any business can offer gift cards, and it’s an easy sell for someone who needs a last minute digital gift.
  • Offer physical items. There are still some people who would rather their friend receive a physical present. Hence you need to offer a few wrappable gifts as well.
  • Offer holiday-themed items. The most popular will be added to the Featured section which is displayed when a Facebook user clicks on the the link to buy their friend a gift.
  • Use great photos and details for each of your products. Let the gift giver know the benefits and the overall why they need to send your product as a gift.
  • Offer your most popular items. People who may not be customers of your business may not be sure what to get their friend from your selection. But they still might recognize products that are advertised or talked about often.
  • Offer something people can get addicted to. You don’t want to just make a one-time sale. Think about products that will get the recipient (and maybe even the gift giver) hooked on your business.

Have you sent a Facebook gift to a friend or signed up your business to offer gifts? Please share your experience in the comments!



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Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and professional blogger who helps develop blog content and lead magnets for businesses.


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  1. Mary Carter says:
    April 30, 2013 at 7:25 am

    There are various ways that can be easily used to promote a product so one should not take much load of choosing a relevant promotional gift. Use of Facebook as a marketing and advertising entity and with Graph Search it is about to get more commercial, so being with the trend everybody has got at-least one option to maintain a position in the market.

  2. March 22, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Wow — I only thought gifts were for heavy hitters like Starbucks. This opens a whole new world for smaller businesses.

    • March 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      The possibilities are endless! Let us know you if you find a way to use this tactic. Thanks for commenting, Lisa.

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