EBay announced the launch of #GiftGoals shopping guides, aiming to combine social media capabilities with practical advice for engaging friends and family in conversation to come up with holiday gift ideas mapped to 12 different personality types, including the “Wellness Guru,” “Décor Connoisseur,” “Foodiest Friend” and others.
#GiftGoals uses what eBay's press release calls "thought-provoking questions" to encourage shoppers to rely on live, meaningful conversations as a starting point for their holiday shopping. EBay also is providing dynamic GIFs and interactive experiences tailored for Twitter, Facebook Canvas and Instagram, as well as real-time advice from social influencers on Facebook Live and targeted advertising on Snapchat.
The #GiftGoals launch follows the recent launch of eBay’s ShopBot chatbot of Messenger, which also builds on user conversations over the platform to provide gift ideas mapped to personality types, such as the “Tech Obsessed Dad,” “Active Moms” and “Bohemian Girlfriends.”
Have we disappeared so far down the rabbit hole of technology-enabled isolation and self-absorption that we actually need help figuring out how to start conversations?
Don't answer that.
In reality, eBay is aiming to fill a customer need that has become all to evident. In its announcement of #GiftGoals, eBay cited research showing that people increasingly have less of an idea what sort of gifts they should buy for those close to them. Specifically, a survey conducted by Wakefield Research for eBay found that 65% of shoppers agree traditional gift guides alone are not enough, and 74% of millennials cite the decline in personal conversations for their lack of gift insight.
And while there is a lot here we can make fun of ("Bohemian girlfriend?" The kind that likes sauerbraten and dumplings, or the kind that favors thrift store hats?), eBay is being practical and methodical about addressing these customer concerns in ways that seem like they should drive traffic to eBay directly from social media platforms. If #GiftGoals is successful, it could be a win for eBay in several areas, including holiday-related revenue, social media engagement and appeal to the much-desired millennial demographic.
As we have noted frequently lately, eBay has been busily re-making itself from online auction house to a mobile-savvy, artificial intelligence-driven e-commerce department store. It is looking to connect with customers in more direct and personalized ways, and #GiftGoals seems entirely informed by that notion.
The earlier ShopBot launch, as was eBay's acquisition and use of SalesPredict's tools and Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages framework, now look like components of a social media integration strategy that with #GiftGoals is starting to look more fully formed. It will be interesting to see if and how eBay can keep its social media energy up after the holidays pass.
This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the 2016 holiday shopping season. You can browse our holiday page for more stories.