Social shopping will continue to take off in the next year, especially as physical retailers are trying to become more social. For example, Amazon launched #AmazonCart in attempt to extend its shopping cart to Twitter, while Sephora launched its Beauty Board to allow customers to browse a gallery of user- generated photos to help boost sales on specific makeup products. What both of these examples show is a need for convenience, immediacy and personalization when it comes to providing the best possible social shopping experience. However, it’s also important to address that social commerce still has a number of roadblocks to overcome before becoming truly mainstream – simply offering a one-click buy button or allowing users to tweet a hashtag at brands to make a purchase doesn’t exactly make the shopping experience more social in itself.
For social commerce to be successful in the future, it is crucial to build a community of like-minded individuals that come together for a common need, where consumers to feel deeply engaged in the experience. In this case, curated shopping lists from people you trust will be a big trend as social commerce grows, where collaboration among friends, family and other close networks will be essential to building these lists. The key is to help consumers spend less time browsing, and instead find more success locating exactly what they need.
When considering collaborative group shopping online, it’s just as important that a certain level of personalization is offered. For every group there is a person in charge, and this person holds the responsibility of making the rest of their party happy – from parents shopping for their entire family, to an office manager ordering office supplies for their entire department. Each group is different, and therefore needs to be catered to in a specific fashion. The first step to a successful transaction is paying close attention to the shopper(s), and then figuring out what products they are searching for. Many social commerce sites do the opposite, where they focus on the product line over the customer, and as a result are unable to build a loyal customer base.
Overall, how people shop and spend their money online will continue to shift as retailers continue to become more socially integrated. Consumers expect to have the same personal experience shopping online as they do shopping in-store, and they expect the same convenience and speed of shopping in-store as they do shopping online. Making these experiences translate seamlessly from individual shoppers to group shoppers is imperative for the future of social commerce.