Social shopping is a practice related to e-commerce that involves the use of social media, which through social interactions and contributions is able to influence the consumers’ purchase decision. To make a long story short, we can say that with social media, many new practices have been developed and that Facebook has become the preferred location to promote or sell products and services.
The first merchant to have proposed a merchant interface on Facebook is Blue Nile Diamones in 2007. They made innovative use of the traditional word-of-mouth marketing technique. This is a smart right to the target advertizing which comes with more weight as it includes the shopper’s personilized experience and recommandation. This solution has been highly appreciated and it inspired the ShopTab team who later released a mini-shop solution to be encapsulated on the brands’ Facebook page. This enables merchants to insert a Shop tab and offer a catalog redirecting to their online store once the “Buy Now” button is pushed.
The first step forward was taken one year ago by JCPenney and their example has been followed by more or less major brands such as Levi’s or Threadless who already provide their customers with a comprehensive application to buy the products they want without having to leave Facebook.
The goal of social shopping and of the conversational approach it uses is to make the customer want the product. These new steps taken in the process of integrating social media within the core of onlin trade and marketing are just another proof that electronic commerce does not consist of simply uploading a catalogue and providing pricing and shipping information.
Fish where the fish are, says an old proverb and this exactly what brands do when building Facebook boutiques. If the use of the leading social network for purchasing products remains limited for the moment, it is certain that it has a huge impact upon the brands’ image and upon the dialogue they have with their customers.