Social shopping websites combine social media and e-commerce. They provide online shoppers with a platform that allows them to interact with other shoppers and make contacts with those who are interested in the same products.
There are many different social shopping sites out there by now. However, most every social shopping site includes features that allow shoppers to take advantage of the following six benefits:
Allow shoppers to see what their friends and others are buying and looking at
Like any social media site, a social shopping site will typically allow a user to connect with another user as a "friend". This makes it so the site sends links regarding products of interest to one user to other users with which the original user is connected.
Social shopping sites will also often show how many "views" an item has and how many site users have placed that item on their "watch list". This shows users how popular particular items are.
Provide users with links to items that they're likely to be interested in
Social shopping sites looks at a user's browsing history, connections, and past "likes" to determine which items are likely to be of interest to that user.
In this way, a social shopping site can get a feel for a user's taste and automatically send product links to that user that fit the user's tastes.
Give users special discounts and incentives that make items cheaper
Social shopping sites can often offer shoppers significant discounts on items that are particularly popular. Buying an item in bulk is always cheaper than buying a single item. Social shopping sites that orchestrate group purchases take advantage of this by allowing users to make individual purchases at lower prices.
Allow users to see what their friends, contacts, and others think about items they're interested in
Getting feedback from others is especially important to shoppers who are looking for clothing or artwork. With social shopping online, shoppers can express their interest in a particular item and request feedback from others.
Provide users with an opportunity to express their opinions on items
Many people like to use social shopping sites simply because they like to critique the items they buy. With social shopping, anyone can put in their two cents about an item by leaving a review.
Provide users with first hand reviews on items
Shoppers take a big risk when they purchase an item online without looking at any past reviews from those who have already purchased and used the item. Social global shopping sites generally include reviews on items so that shoppers can take advantage of both an opportunity to purchase an item and reviews about that item in one place.