Get Social With Your Holiday Shopping

By Katie Kearsey Shoppers today are more connected and savvy than ever before.  It’s therefore no surprise that they’re turning to online, social shopping to cross items off their list this holiday season.  To take advantage of this recent trend, marketers should understand what consumers are looking for: easy purchase methods, shareable wishlists, great deals and personalized gift guides.  Here are some examples of how brands are meeting customer demands with their efforts in social commerce.

Social Commerce and Storefronts.   Online shopping is no new phenomenon, but social commerce, specifically Facebook Commerce, is starting to gain traction.  F-commerce decreases consumer effort (you mean I don’t have to leave Facebook to buy this?!) and takes advantage of the social nature of shopping (what do you think of this?).  By making it easy to buy, give and receive, brands can develop great reputations for social commerce.  For example, Express created a beautiful storefront for viewing and purchasing clothing, while Starbucks and American Eagle focus more on customized and personalized eGift Cards.

Social Wishlists.  E-commerce websites are making it easier than ever to create and share wishlists with friends and family members.  Amazon encourages you to share your carefully crafted lists to Facebook and Twitter, allows you to view your friends’ lists, and enables you to connect with Facebook to get gift suggestions for everyone based on their profiles.  Websites such as Boxed Up, Svpply and Wishlistr also encourage users to create and share wishlists via social channels.  Even websites that aren’t traditionally associated with wishlist creation can be used.  Pinterest, for example, has sparked the creation of beautiful, visual-based lists where you can see what kinds of clothing, accessories and home décor friends pin to their boards. You’ll no doubt gain shopping inspiration and gift ideas.

Social Deals.  If consumers insist on shopping the “old-fashioned way,” chances are they’re still checking out their favorite brands on Facebook and Twitter to unearth coupons and deals before hitting the stores.  Providing coupons and special fan-only discounts is a great way to grow your community and online shopping presence.  Victoria’s Secret is giving away gift cards through December 15, while Sony has a tab devoted specifically to deals.  Some stores even post their weekly circulars on Facebook, such as Target.

Personalized Gift Ideas and Suggestions.  If you’re still stumped about what to get your friends this holiday season, numerous brands have created great gift guides on their tabs.  Etsy and Gap have great gift guides, while Macy’s encourages and helps you “Be Santa” with its guide to gifting.  Some brands have tabs that feature a gift of the day, such as Pottery Barn, while others such as Walmart have developed impressive applications to suggest gifts for friends and family members.

 

Let’s hear it!  How social are you getting with your shopping this holiday season? What are some other great websites and brand pages you’ve seen that are doing great things with social commerce?