Facebook has announced plans to purge physical merchandise from its online gift store less than a year after launching the service. The social network envisioned Facebook Gifts as being a one-stop shop for items like chocolate bars, cupcakes and stuffed animals that could be gifted to friends and family but the reality of the matter is that said items only accounted for 20 percent of sales.
Moving forward, Facebook Gifts will focus on its bread and butter – digital gift codes and Facebook’s own physical card. The Facebook Card was introduced early this year as a reusable gift card that can be redeemed at a number of real-world retailers including Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora and Target, just to name a few.
The social network said early on that they didn’t expect Facebook Gifts to be a substantial source of additional revenue, at least not in its first year. By eliminating physical goods, the company will be able to cut down on costs associated with delivery and management. True enough, a stern focus on digital goods will allow them to continue to experiment with the revenue stream without the added overhead.
The revamped shopping experience is already available to 10 percent of Facebook users and should see a site-wide rollout next week according to a spokesperson for the company. Users can also expect to see digital codes from more brands and in various denominations – the latter being a first for Facebook Gifts.