Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it would be scrapping its ecommerce program less than a year after it was started. “Facebook Gifts,” launched last September, was a program designed to entice Facebook users to buy gifts for their friends. At first glance, ending the program so quickly looks like an epic fail.
However, there is a possibility that it was a savvy move.
According to Facebook, their sales data showed that 80% of purchases were for gift cards. That means they looked at their data, saw what their customers wanted to buy from them, and started focusing on that. At the same time, they unburdened themselves of the logistics of becoming either a gigantic affiliate network or ecommerce fulfillment center – neither of which is core to their mission. That makes backing off of ecommerce look like a smart move.
But what does this say about the larger relationship between ecommerce and social media?
When social media exploded onto the scene, many claimed “social commerce”