I associate Christmas shopping with pain and agony. Well, not really. But every year I commit to finding fun and unique gifts for my friends and family and my efforts always amount to an epic last minute failure. The truth is, I’m plagued by relentless distraction and always end up shopping for myself instead. Tragic.

Overly-dramatic first world problems aside, the other day I stumbled upon a social commerce-themed gem for those of us who have racked up the holiday-themed fails. Etsy’s Gift Finder is a tool that not only helps generate clever gift ideas, but also keeps us focused on the task as hand: shopping for others, not ourselves.

social media agency, chicago search engine marketing firm, b2b social media, social media b2b, social media agency

When you hit Etsy’s Gift Finder page, click the Connect to Facebook button to begin scanning all of your Facebook friends’ profiles. An algorithm checks out all of your connections’ status updates and “likes” to determine their interests and ultimately point you to a handful of relevant gift ideas.

Besides the  - let’s say “unique” – interests of friends and coworkers (see below), what makes this tool so fun is that it points users toward handmade, quirky gifts that you can’t find just anywhere.

It looks like my dear coworkers are looking to get some sweet stuff this year. Will  wants Rick Astley gear and Cubs paraphernalia (can’t say I support either of those interests) and Nick wants anything remotely related to caffeine. 100% accurate?

Maybe; maybe not. But Etsy Gift Finder is a fun way brainstorm when gift ideas are sparse.

social media agency, chicago search engine marketing firm, b2b social media, social media b2b, social media agency social media agency, chicago search engine marketing firm, b2b social media, social media b2b, social media agency

From a marketer’s perspective Gift Finder is a solid concept because it confronts a specific pain point for consumers by seamlessly pairing the social graph with e-commerce. But the real magic in this tool is that it highlights Etsy’s inherently charming qualities: unique, quirky and fun products.

Needless to say, I became engulfed in distraction and didn’t buy anything for anyone. But I’ll be back. To generate quirky ideas for your friends, or to just make fun of their interests-according-to-Facebook, check out the Etsy Gift Finder application here.