The Heck Is Social Shopping?
Social shopping is a method of commerce where shoppers’ friends become involved in the shopping experience. Social shopping attempts to use technology to mimic the social interactions found in physical malls and stores. With the rise of mobile devices, social shopping is now extending beyond the online world and into the offline world of shopping. Via the effable Wikipedia
This isn’t a history lesson in how Amazon piloted the social shopping trends with their in-depth and often snarky review section, I’ve rarely purchased a big ticket item without first checking the Amazon reviews. This is an overview of our experience with social shopping services. We use several social shopping sites to promote the products we have in our store and to keep tabs on what’s trending with all you trendy home designers and fashionistas.
I’ve crafted a list of the sites I use on a daily or weekly basis.
2012 Active user base of – 182 Million (Business Insider)
As I alluded to earlier Amazon.com, though not the most sexy social shopping experience, is a very practical one. The reviewing feed, the sharable wish-lists, and the standard social features are fairly primitive and utilitarian – but there are a lot of rumblings across the net about Amazon acquiring the entire creative staff from Quorous back in 2011. There are also options for smaller boutique shops to promo their items in the Product Ad Bar.
2012 Active user base – 9 Million (Tech-Crunch)
Fab is a snazzy social shopping site that curates products directly from the designer or manufacturer. They have a team of design shamans that are up on what’s trendy and they pick the products to be put on the site.
Fab won’t send you to the designers site for purchase because the designers don’t retail their products, you purchase directly from Fab and at reasonable prices. They also have a mobile app for Android or iOS, which is basically their website in a usable mobile format.
Great for keeping with what is designer trendy. There is a small on-site social realm, and you can link your account to Facebook if you want to share your purchases and favorites.
2012 Active User Base – 500,000 (TNW)
Fancy is similar to Fab in that it’s clean and upscale. Though the web interface is much simpler as is the mobile app. Fancy stands out from Fab with a more “social” interface. The content here is user curated, as opposed to the “pro” curators at Fab. Users create lists to organize the products they “fancy’d” or they can upload products from other sites. The lists and users can be shared and followed, and there is room to comment on the products. All in all a more social experience to Fab.
Active User Base – Not Available, though I did ask.
Prowl is a social shopping site that was launched by CafeMom in July of 2013. It’s very pinteresty with the boards and the multi column interface. It’s a lot like Fancy, but directed more towards the moms out there – with a more browsable interface and a feminine domestic feel. I like it so far. They’ve only been up for a few months and its looking promising. Tech Crunch has a nice write-up on the launch.
They don’t have a mobile app….yet.
2012 Active User Base – 6 Million (Tech-Crunch)
Wanelo gets their name from the three words WAnt, NEed, and LOve. They have a sleek pinteresty interface and over 8 million products saved daily, and they boast a 70% active user rate, that makes it a very active site. You can “save” products, share to other networks and “tag” a friend on a product if you think they’d dig it, and there is also a purchase function. They have a “Stories” function that allows you to see what the people you are following are saying about products.
Wierd name aside, this is a pretty easy like for me. And their mobile app is the best by far.
2012 Active User Base – 140,000 (Tech-Crunch)
Svpply is a New York based startup that was cofounded by Vimeo designer Zach Klein and recently acquired by Ebay. It has a more urban modern minimalist vibe and boasts the typical set of social shopping mechanisms.
2012 Active User Base – 10.4 Million (Hub-Spot)
If you’re on the internet you’ve heard of Pinterest. Pinterest isn’t a social shopping site per se, though it functions much like one other than the lack of a purchasing mechanism.
Pinterest began in 2009, and now the web is littered with “Pin-it” buttons curating content everywhere. Easy to organize boards and a huge time suck if you let it with its continuous scrolling, its a visual search engine. Marketers are drooling of the possibilities and users are in love with its functionality.
Keep an eye on Pinterest as the months and years unfold, I’m certain this product will keep evolving.
Active User Base – Not Available, though I did ask.
Nuji is a bit of a curiosity. It seems that there is a lot of room to innovate on their platform. They’ve been around since before Pinterest, they have a pretty defined urban trendy style. The site has everything you’d expect to see in a social shopping site with all the sharing and liking and tagging and purchasing and what-not. But it really doesn’t add anything to the experience. I’ll keep my eye on them, I’m sure they have some secret sauce coming in the future.
What did I miss?
I’m sure I missed some big social shopping sites that just aren’t on my radar, and there are probably some new up and comers lurking in the shadows. I predict this will be an even bigger topic next year. So, what did I miss?