5 Ways to Shop Social

in Influencer Shopping, Social Media, Social Shopping

Image source: http://www.2ne2.mn

Not so very long ago, it was a momentous event to log on to your favorite retailer’s website, say JCrew.com, and order that Confetti ruffle cami you eyed in the mall without ever having to leave the comfort of your bathrobe and living room. The convenience of it was mind-boggling!

Today, the virtual shopping experience has evolved past simple convenience and into the realm of social media. This evolution has taken the form of at least five completely different shopping animals and, while their names may sound similar, they each fill an important and unique niche in the social shopping sphere.

1. Group Shopping

What is it? Group Shopping websites offer retail discounts to subscribers who buy in large groups. Many offer a daily deal, for example 50% off a meal at a popular restaurant, and if enough people are willing to purchase the deal then the offer is available for 24 hours until the next daily deal is posted. This is beneficial to both the consumer and the retailer as the deep discounts typically draw in a large number of customers.

Examples: Groupon, Living Social, Buy With Me

2. Shopping Communities

What is it? These sites provide a space for users to aggregate their collective shopping knowledge in one place. From prices to products to deals to trends, customers take the reins and share an ever-growing compendium of shopping know-how.  These sites are just one example of how today’s consumer has more power than ever before.

Examples: Kaboodle, Veedow, Zebo

3. Recommendation Engines

What is it? This branch of social shopping is literally evolving in front of our very eyes. While originally on asking for and receiving advice about products from strangers across the web, the new generation of recommendation engines are encouraging users to connect with their friends (often via other social networks like Facebook) and share recommendations with them.

Examples: Amazon, Blippy, Shop Socially

4. Social Commerce

What is it? Social commerce sites like Etsy allow independent designers to showcase and sell their work to the world without actually having a brick-and-mortar storefront. It’s free to create an account at these sites, and users are able to peruse and buy from a myriad of talented designers. The designers themselves are able to network with each other and sell their wares for a very minimal fee.

Examples: Etsy, 1000 Markets, Dawanda

5. Email newsletters

What is it? There are probably hundreds of locally based email newsletters that promote the newest stores, restaurants, products, and events in the users’ city or cities of choice. While they don’t allow direct shopping, they often give subscribers insider discounts and encourage them to venture out and check out the newest local hotspots.

Examples: Daily Candy, Thrillist

Share with us your online shopping experiences and preferences. How have you wielded your power to influence social shopping?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar avatarTest Comment April 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

Hey there, great article!

avatar avatarsocial buying December 29, 2011 at 10:42 am

Its a great information. I think social buying/selling or social shopping is increases day by day Because most of the brands uses social media as a business platform & most of the people are linked with different social media sites.

avatar avatarreverse lookup November 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I just wanted to say thank you for this valuable information.

avatar avatarSarah Clise August 19, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Thanks Nancy – I will include Spaver in my next social shopping article!

avatar avatarSarah Clise August 19, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Hi Cheryl! Open Sky, to me, belongs in the social commerce category- different than Etsy in that you can buy and sell ANYTHING and very cool in that you can connect with people you know.

avatar avatarCheryl August 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Thanks for categorizing these sites. It makes it easier to reference and talk about with clients and prospects. Where would you put OpenSky at https://ShopOpenSky.com? Just curious.

avatar avatarNancy August 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Check out Spaver.com – The ultimate way to shop as a group on any product you may want and get a discount.

avatar avatarSarah Clise August 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I should have included Woot in this article! Check out http://www.woot.com for seriously funny content and amazing daily deals!

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