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How it works: Social shopping


Social shopping has long been a buzzword for shoppers and retailers alike. Over 90% of young adults use social media, so it’s easy to understand why more merchants are moving to the social media space.

Facebook reports two people join the network every second, and as of December 2017, Instagram boasts over 800 million active users. Retailers are looking for the most effective ways to leverage these massive user bases to expand their businesses.

These social platforms are powerful because today’s consumers want to crowd-source their decisions. They want every bit of information, from customer reviews to ingredient lists, before making their purchase. Reportedly 93% of buying decisions are influenced by social media, as it serves as a place where shoppers can interact and learn more about brands and products.

Originally, companies bought ads and sponsored content to get their names out into the social media vortex. Now, however, these tactics are table stakes. Users expect to see them, can easily identify them, and are not very likely to convert.

Smart retailers have upped the game with interactive content – shoppable photos, retweetable promotional codes, user-generated content, etc. – that engages users and simplifies their shopping process.

How It Works

Shoppable social media integrations from companies like Olapic and Pixlee are changing the way that brands promote their products.

With including something as simple as a hashtag, Twitter and Instagram users can upload their own content and be featured on their favorite brands’ websites. According to Olapic, approximately 400,000 images are collected daily from users. This allows retailers to easily curate and deploy content and encourages consumers to connect to their favorite brands on a deeper level than ever before.

social shopping
Shoe Carnival’s successful UGC campaigns rely on multiple sources – Instagram, Twitter, and a native uploader – to curate content and engage audiences

As the landscape of online shopping shifts and the role of social media in eCommerce becomes even more prevalent, it’s likely we will see new and creative integrations, tools, and tactics continue to emerge. Social shopping innovations will continue to build stronger vendor-consumer relationships and enhance the online shopping experience as a whole.

To learn more and better engage your customers, check out our helpful guide on how to become a social expert in just 10 steps.