When reading this headline, do you have visions of you and your friends at the mall, sipping lattes while shopping and catching up on all the latest gossip? (I do, though that’s not the point of this post.)
Nearly half of all Americans are members of at least one social network, andthese individuals spend, on average, one and a half times more time online than the typical web surfer. (It’s so true! Who else has gone into Facebook “for a minute” … and logged off an hour or more later?) Not only do they spend more time in the social networks…they spend more money, too. Facebook “heavy hitters” spent 34% more money online than their casual web surfer counterparts.
E-commerce has gone social. Ever participated in online flash sale sites? Or “lightning deals” from Amazon.com? Some of these sites rely heavily on online conversations to drive sales, and with good reas on: a MediaPost studyrevealed that 59 percent of consumers rated “personal advice from friends” as the most influential source of information for their purchase decisions, and 51 percent of Twitter users reported they follow companies, brands or products on social networks.
Collective buying sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are also going social. Members of the site are e-mailed daily with a deeply discounted offer from a local business, and the companies use tools that allow users to easily share deals and recommendations with friends on Facebook and Twitter.
There’s also such a thing as going too far. One of these social shopping sites – Swipely.com – is simply too much for me. Watch the short video on the company’s site. Does the concept intrigue you? Or scare the credit cards right out of your wallet? Please leave your thoughts below.