Shopping has long been seen as a social activity for many people. Shoppers arrange to meet their friends on the local high-street for some retail therapy, going from shop to shop, trying on different clothes, getting their friend’s opinions on what to buy and what not to buy. Once they have their friends approval, shoppers are more likely to purchase the product than if they had to decide on their own. With online shopping, the social side of shopping has been in decline and people have become more accustomed to making their own minds up and being more personal with their shopping.
Step forward the ‘social shopping tool’ launched by price comparison site TheFind.com. This service enables consumers to see which products have been given the seal of approval from their friends and other shoppers by logging in using their Facebook identity and then opting in to allow the TheFind to access the stores/brands that the consumer and his or her Facebook friends have ‘liked.’
Essentially the tool works as follows: consumer carries out a search, the products from ‘liked’ stores/brands appear higher in the search results, shopper clicks on item, preview product window shows the names and photos of users’ Facebook friends who ‘like’ the product or brand, acting as an approval from friends to purchase the product. By having all of this information collated together, the consumer saves time and energy and can feel justified about making their purchase.
This is effectively the first step in developing the social shopping experience online. TheFind co-founder and CEO Siva Kumar enthused “social commerce is really exciting, We see this as the base and we want to get in right, then we’ll roll out more and more.”
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