eBay Group Gifts Application Leverages Social Media for Shared Gift Giving
By: eBay Inc. Staff
Reach out to friends on Facebook and other social platforms to split costs for the ultimate gift.
eBay has launched eBay Group Gifts, an ambitious new application on eBay.com that leverages social media tools such as Facebook to allow an organizer to bring together friends or family members to share costs for fixed price product listings intended for a specified recipient. The application is one of several innovative social commerce initiatives from eBay, and defines a convenient, cost-effective new way for groups to give meaningful gifts.
The eBay Group Gifts application is now a fixture on eBay.com, and is also live as an application on Facebook. It presents a unique value proposition: “give bigger, give better, give it together.” Through a mashup of eBay, social tools such as Facebook, and PayPal, it’s an online, social commerce application designed to improve on inefficient group giving solutions. Ideal for graduation presents, holiday presents, registries and other opportunities for distributed groups of givers to share costs for thoughtful gifts, the application can relieve costs during tough economic times and help groups crowdsource excellent gift ideas.
“In addition to cost savings and efficiencies that it can create for groups, eBay Group Gifts is a lot of fun, especially for the many eBay users who are involved with social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter,” said Julie Haddon, eBay’s Director of Social Media and Integrated Marketing. “The application leverages these social tools directly, making it easy to connect with friends online and share in purchasing a gift that a recipient will really want.”
“eBay Group Gifts was designed to address a real world need for people who want to join together to give a bigger and better gift for someone they care about,” added Amit Menipaz, who led the project at eBay. “Through this innovative application we are defining the concept of group gifting online by leveraging deep integration with eBay, Paypal and Facebook to provide a simple and friendly solution that addresses every stage of the process, from gift selection and collecting money to inviting friends and physically delivering the gift on behalf of the group.”
Indeed, any user connected to, say, friends and family members on Facebook can automatically leverage these connections within eBay Group Gifts, instantly inviting them to contribute to the purchase of any fixed price item on eBay without needing their email addresses or other contact information. Contributions can be made through PayPal, credit cards, or other payment vehicles, and a graphical thermometer displays exactly how far toward the total purchase price of an item a group is at any given time. Anyone in the world can chip in to give a gift.
The integration between eBay Group Gifts and social tools such as Facebook runs deep, and is intended to make both choosing and giving a special gift easy. As an example of how it can ease the gift selection process, when users search for a gift, eBay Group Gifts will access information from a recipient’s Facebook page to help suggest ideas.
“We conducted numerous focus groups in developing eBay Group Gifts,” said Andy Palmer, Manager of Buyer Experience at eBay. “It produced many unanimous ‘aha’ reactions from users, with younger users who are steeped in using social applications coming up with use cases for it that we hadn’t anticipated, and older users finding it to make the process of giving a gift in tandem very easy.”
You can try the Group Gifts application now, and you can follow news on it on Twitter at
www.twitter.com/ebaygroupgifts . On Nov. 1, USA Today covered the new application in a story titled “ eBay Makes it Easier for Friends, Relatives, to Chip in for Gifts .”