Monday, April 7, 2008

Shopping is Now Social

Today’s eMarketer newsletter is about social shopping—a rapidly-growing phenomenon. The lead chart reminds us why it’s becoming so important. People have always placed a great deal of credibility in recommendations from their peers—that’s why WOM is so powerful. Social shopping is the electronic age manifestation. The article goes on to say that people contribute to social sites because they want to feel part of a community and they seek the recognition of their peers. I’d add that people simply want to help; they want to provide useful information to others who are engaged in the same activities/facing the same issues.

That being said, these sites have the potential to be incredibly volatile. I was under the impression that Kaboodle was the largest. According to the comparison I did on the Compete site, it has been left in the dust by a site called Pronto. The site attributes its explosive growth to the addition of social shopping tools, but it’s not clear why that has caused it to outdistance other social shopping sites that have similar functionality. My hypothesis is that it’s much more broadly based and therefore appeals to a larger audience. The diversity of search terms seems to bear that out.

Marketers need to use these sites by ensuring their products are listed and advertising on the sites. Pronto has a “certified merchant program.” The widgets available from Kaboodle let users make connections between things like their MySpace pages and the site. Are there partnership opportunities here?

Social shopping is another Web 2.0 feature that seems to be here to stay. Marketers, especially those whose target audience is young or family-oriented, need to be in the game.
Sphere: Related Content

No comments: