Facebook Moves into E-commerce

A page from Facebook CollectionsA page from Facebook Collections

MENLO PARK, Calif.-Facebook has launched two features that mark the website's first efforts at e-commerce.

On Sept. 27, the site debuted Facebook Gifts, which enables users to purchases gifts for friends for any occasion. Users can visit facebook.com/gifts, choose a gift, attach a card and send the gift. The item can be posted to the friend's timeline or sent privately, and that person can "unwrap" a preview of the gift. The item is then delivered to the friend a few days later.

Last week, Facebook launched a test of Facebook Collections in the United States only, a feature that allows retailers to share information about their products on Facebook. Available on the site's News Feed, the Facebook Collections test enables users to "like," "collect" or "want" products. The products within Collections also have a "buy" link, which sends users off the site to purchase a product from a participating retailer.

According to a Facebook spokeswoman, the test involves links to Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria's Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics and fab.com. "We've seen that businesses often use (Facebook) pages to share information about their products through photo albums," the spokeswoman said.

In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, said Gifts represented "the beginnings of commerce on Facebook." Asked if the site would go deeper into retailing, Sandberg said, "We're working on a lot of things. The potential for almost anything on Facebook is really big because of our sheer size and scale, and because of what users are doing and how engaged they are on the site."

HFN Staff | News & Commentary

HFN provides detailed information on the key home classifications: Housewares, Tabletop, Floor Covering & Rugs, Furniture, Home Textiles, Lighting, Home Decor, Mattresses & Bedding, Gifts, Major Appliances and Consumer Electronics as well as Business, Finance and Retail.


Current Issue

  • HFN May digital issue


    May 2017

    COVER STORY: HFN Turns 90

    We commemorate HFN's 90th anniversary by paying tribute to the iconic retailer and supplier brands--and the people--that have helped the industry flourish, then and now.


    • Up & Coming Leaders - The home industry is in capable and visionary hands as this year’s 40 Under 40 list attests. Today’s young leaders span all disciplines and varied levels of operation.
    • Omnichannel Retailing - In the Mobile App World, Time is Money