What’s in your ‘social shopping’ basket?
Social shopping is the “hanging out with friends at the mall” of today’s digital generation, except that it’s not just teens taking advantage of all the social features available. Customers of all ages have more choices than ever, as well as more opportunities to engage with brands they love.
Often described as the Amazon of the Middle East, Dubai-based Souq.com is now officially part of the Seattle-based ecommerce giant. With online commerce estimated by industry experts at about 3 per cent of the overall retail spend in the region, against 15 per cent in more mature markets, there is a huge potential for growth. Amazon’s acquisition of Souq.com is a wake-up call to the region’s physical retailers.
“Social shopping” itself is more of a catch-all term that can be anything from sharing outfit ideas on Pinterest to tweeting links to coupon codes. With smartphone shopping and m-commerce (mobile commerce) on the rise the need to connect with shoppers beyond just having a responsive website design is greater than ever.
So how can brands and online retailers take advantage of this growing trend?
- Connect the Gap Between Online and Offline Marketing: Look for ways to bring online customers offline by creating convenient ways to merge social media, online shopping, and local promotions. Email a coupon code that gives an extra percentage off when used in the store or give different incentives to customers who browse online and buy in the store versus those who browse in the store and buy online.
- Personalization: Most shoppers would agree that getting personalized deals on the products and services they want is a great way to create loyalty and increase sales. The key here is to fill customers in on what they truly get out of the exchange, and make sure they understand how their privacy is affected and how their information is used.
The Future of Social Shopping: Although social shopping with website and apps is in its infancy now, the future looks brighter for this new marketing opportunity. For example, the app ShopSavvy, allows you to become an ultra-smart shopper. It allows you to scan barcodes and QR codes of products. Once done scanning, it compares prices of the same product in other stores. You get the same product for the lowest amount possible. Win!
Another app called, NearBuy is a bargain tracker’s best friend. The app is available in many UAE malls. You go inside a mall and it notifies you of any sales on in the mall you’re currently at. The app also claims that NearBuy users get exclusive deals. No more tiring yourself out shopping ever again!