Hoping to replicate online the experience of trawling around TopShop with your two best friends, Social Shopping brings the power of emotion to online stores.
Recommendations based on user data have been around for years and been successful on sites like Amazon and eBay but social shopping takes this model one step futher. The basis of social shopping is not just that you see what greeneyedboy394 from Kansas bought but that you see what your friend, recommended, reviewed or bought. And you pay more attention to your friends than you do to people you don’t know. Or to the results of alogorithms for example.
It’s friend-filtered social search. RWW describes the phenomenon:
“Of course, the last 10 years’ worth of people’s purchasing histories and written reviews on Amazon may help you narrow your choice – if you can filter out the noise. But those reviewers are entirely anonymous to you, even though they may use a real name and have a rating history with the site.
“[…] collective intelligence can’t provide the necessary emotional “spark” in quite the way that a personal recommendation can. Patricia Mejia, a commenter on Richard’s e-commerce trends post, explained why she wants this in shopping: “I want to be inspired, intrigued and entertained when I shop online.”
Okay. And where you don’t get that emotion from a search engine, you might get it from a friend’s comment.
Where’s the future of social shopping? Not on Amazon: but on newbie sites like ThisNext and Kaboodle which are social networks built around product reviews and e-commerce sites.
Interesting. I think these are going to have to take off as Facebook or Twitter plug-ins first before they really hit the gold because people aren’t always enthusiastic about signing up to yet another social network. Small Swedish network RunToShop seems to have got this balance right, by being part of a distributed social network that retail sites can draw in content from, and crucially integrating with Facebook.