The Rise of Social Shopping

by Davanti Digital on October 15, 2011

Social shopping does not refer to your weekend trip to the mall with friends. Rather, Social Shopping is a method of online shopping where shoppers’ friends get involved in the shopping experience. Social Using web technology, social shopping is an attempt to bring social networking to the online shopping world and mimic the social interactions found when shopping in stores.

Social shopping can generally be divided into five categories:

  • Group Shopping – Group shopping sites encourage groups of people to buy together for wholesale prices. Think Costco for the online world. Group shopping sites include: Half Off Depot, Groupon, LivingSocial, and BuyWithMe.
  • Shopping communities – This method of social shopping attempts to bring like-minded people together online to discuss, share and shop. Users communicate and compile information about products, prices and deals. Many community sites allow users to create custom shopping lists and share them with friends via email, messenger or social network site. Shopping communities include Listia, which specializes in exchanging free stuff.
  • Recommendation Engines – These sites allow shoppers to provide advice to fellow shoppers online. Sites that provide this online social advice are:  ShopSocially, Left of Trend and Blippy. All of these sites encourage conversations around purchases with a user’s friends.

 

  • Shopping Marketplaces – You can compare this social shopping category is a farmers market or bazaar. The marketplace provides a place for independent sellers to share their products in a forum. Buyers and sellers can connect and communicate in the marketplace.
  • Shared Shopping – Shared shopping includes catalog-based ecommerce sites, which allow shoppers to form online shopping groups in which one person can essentially manage an online shopping experience for someone else using real-time communication. To use this form of social shopping, shoppers must download the software which includes DecisionStep’s Shop Together software.

As the ultimate shopping season is upon us, what better time to explore the world of social shopping? Not quite sure what to buy for that picky friend? Connect with mutual friends and share advice and ideas without ever leaving the computer screen!

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