“Social Shopping is a method of e-commerce and of traditional shopping in which consumers shop in a social networking environment similar to MySpace. Using the wisdom of crowds, users communicate and aggregate information about products, prices, and deals. Social shopping can also exist in the real world beyond the obvious swapping of consumer stories with people one knows. For example, when you walk into a dressing room, the mirror reflects your image, but you also see images of the apparel item and celebrities wearing it on an interactive display. A webcam also projects an image of the consumer wearing the item on the website for everyone to see. This creates an interaction between the consumers inside the store and their social network outside the store. The technology behind this system uses RFID”
Source – www.wikipedia.org
Image Source: http://watchmojo.com/blogs/images/3ddressing.jpg
Lets start with the title of Social Shopping, as of now it seems ‘Social Shopping’ is one of those trending topics, which everyone wants to talk about when the question of ‘Shopping in Future’ is brought on the table and how social media along with all the applications and gadgets, enhance user/costumer experience.
To understand the question more deeply, lets look at the two different facets, one of ‘Social Media’ and the other of ‘Shopping as a trend/need’.
By now it’s a known fact to every one in the present times that the know-how as well as the usage of social media is increasing at an exponential rate. It started as a trend with the young; and age demographics suggest that even the elders have been bitten eventually by the trend.
Its no longer a question of whether you like to socialize or not, it’s becoming more of a daily habit like brushing your teeth, first thing in the morning. With celebrities, sports stars to business tycoons making it part of their life style, its not only fashionable to be active on social media but it also acts as your daily dosage of internal news about the world and your friends.
Therefore it’s common to observe people sharing information, getting reviews, flaunting, exhibiting lifestyle, attitude & personality impressions via social media.
Shopping as trend/need
Shopping can be traced back to many civilizations and it’s a trend that has come a long way over the years. Shopping for humans can be defined as an essential need for their survival, but shopping has grown far beyond the world of necessities.
In present times the trend of shopping is way of living your life. It’s a way of exhibiting your choices, tastes and social quo to your social circle and the external world. Shopping can also be described as a very popular hobby for many and they love to talk for hours & discuss about their shopping baskets, the reasons for their choices and so on.
I am pretty sure that by now we can clearly see the strong resemblance in the world’s of “Social Media” and ‘Shopping”.
To sum it all up, its the same question that comes up, are we waiting for some specific time in the future where we are forced to react to the massive demand of Social Media and integrate into the shopping experience? Or are we going to be pro-active in our approach of tapping onto this demand, which is a certainty even in the present times? I guess the answer will come to light eventually with time.
Meanwhile here is a link to a case study on one of the very few stores that have thought on the lines of integrating this idea: http://www.rfidradio.com/?p=20