Social shopping

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Social shopping is a method of e-commerce and of traditional shopping in which consumers shop in a social networking environment similar to MySpace. Using the wisdom of crowds, users communicate and aggregate information about products, prices, and deals. Many sites allow users to create custom shopping lists and share them with friends.[1]. Others concentrate on the user interactions that pass on information and recommendations that are hard to acquire from sales personnel. Some services even allow users to shop together onine to complete the social environment.

Social shopping sites may generate revenue not only from advertising and click throughs, but also by sharing information about their users with retailers.

Social shopping can also exist in the real-world beyond the obvious swapping of consumer stories with people one knows. For example, when you walk into a dressing room, the mirror reflects your image, but you also see images of the apparel item and celebrities wearing it on an interactive display. A webcam also projects an image of the consumer wearing the item on the website for everyone to see. This creates an interaction between the consumers inside the store and their social network outside the store. The technology behind this system uses RFID[2].

There are various ways for stores to use social shopping features. Some websites offer comparison shopping with social features. Others combines physical stores and social features, for example, allowing customers to share finds and deals from physical retailers through the phone and website and interact with users that have similar shopping interests.

Some websites use established online social networks and tools rather than trying to build their own. by implementing applications like Facebook Connect which allows users to ask their Facebook friends' opinions on purchases directly on the social shopping site. Others implement the Twitter API, allowing their users to share content through tweets.

The success of social shopping as a business model is still to be proven, although several companies like or TolMol have managed to publish their services and gather lots of users.


See also

Further reading

de:Social Commerce fr:Shopping social nl:Social shopping

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