Social Shopping Will Be Big in 2011

Consumers want deals.  Brands want loyalty.

This is why the first forays made into social shopping made in 2010 will result in an explosion of social commerce in 2011.  Social shopping is the next phase of e-commerce and a natural extension of the socializing and networking people are already doing via their social networks.  Innovative brands are already socializing the shopping experience in their online stores by adding share buttons and the ability to “like” products and services.

Many companies already allow shoppers to comment or rate items.  Social shopping will further integrate commerce onto social networks.  The next phase will likely include things like Facebook “stores” with exclusive deals (unlocked by liking or engaging with the brand) and deals available only on Twitter if you retweet or respond to information provided by the brand.

Also expect better and more personalized ways to try products and solicit advise from friends and family.

Shopping has always been a social experience – and online shopping will begin to replica the real-life experience even more.

For example, social shopping will mean:

  • Exclusive offers and special deals for joining a brand’s social circle via social networks
  • Buying directly from a brand’s Twitter or Facebook pages
  • Getting points and discounts for sharing brand information with family and friends
  • More experiences while online shopping – commenting, liking, sharing, etc.
  • More dynamic content while shopping – videos, graphics, games, etc.

Social shopping is a win for consumers because it means better deals for engaging with a brand.  It also means more information and a better shopping experience online.

For brands, social shopping is a no brainer.  They get a closer and more intimate relationship with consumers and an opportunity to market to them and their friends via social networks – where more and more people are establishing online home bases.

What’s your social shopping strategy?  What brands do you think are doing a good job with social commerce?

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