Big name online retailers, including eBay, Amazon and Etsy, are using Facebook to make gift recommendations for individuals. These new social-shopping ideas allow retail sites to use Facebook’s platform to see user information (with their permission), and then use this information to offer better choices to shoppers based on their likes, comments, etc. More than half of the top 25 retail sites have integrated with Facebook’s platform since last holiday season, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Facebook provides the platform, some basic rules, and then gives the retailers controls, but it’s up to each retailer to determine how to make the experience social for their shoppers.
For example, back in July, Amazon started allowing users to log into their Facebook profiles through the Amazon.com site, and then (with permission) using information about their friends on Facebook to offer gift recommendations and birthday reminders. In November, eBay started ‘Group Gifts’, which allows users to log into eBay using their Facebook account, and gives them the option of splitting the cost of a present among their Facebook friends.
Etsy also offers a tool that suggests gifts based on friends’ Facebook profiles. The Wall Street Journal reports that over 100,000 shoppers on Etsy have tried the service, which gives users 10 or 20 recommendations based on their friends’ preferences.