social shopping

Is your social feed the future of shopping?


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DEC 12, 2017

Shopping used to be so simple. You’d go to your nearest store, peruse the aisles, try a few products, and take home your favorite. Most of the time, you’d keep going back – to the same store, to purchase more of the same brand. Nowadays we’re spoilt for choice! Not only has the number of products increased, but also the ways in which we can browse and buy. Of course, we have the internet to thank for that…

Naturally, as social media has increasingly become the way the majority of us browse online, the question has been asked: Is social-media shopping the next step for retail? Already many brands use social to promote sales – from the obvious (Facebook’s shopping section or advertisers on Instagram with direct calls to action like ‘shop now’ buttons) to the subtle (brands and bloggers posting shots of products to inspire you to buy them).

‘More than half (56%) of consumers who follow brands on social-media sites say they do so to view products,’ writes Marketing Week, referencing research from loyalty analytics company Aimia. ‘Dubbed “social shoppers”, the research shows that these individuals visit social networks as part of their everyday shopping behavior ad use images they see on social-media sites to inspire purchases. Nearly a third of online shoppers (315) say they are using these channels to browse for new items to buy. Facebook is the most popular network people are using (26%), followed by Instagram (8%), and Pinterest (6%).’

So it should come as no surprise that Facebook is partnering with new company Shopthat to shop influencer content. How does it work? If you’re a fan of beauty bloggers, you can use Shopthat to purchase products featured in their posts without having to visit an external website or downloading a separate app. All you do is like a shoppable post, and then you’ll be sent to a Facebook message that lets you directly shop all the products from that post. See it, like it, shop it.

The slightly more curveball social network turning storefront is Spotify, who has teamed up with Pat McGrath Labs, alongside its merchandise partner Merchbar. Refinery29 explains that Spotify wants ‘to give fans the ability to shop [McGrath’s] new makeup while [they] listen to tunes from emerging singer-songwriter and McGrath muse Maggie Lindemann – all in one place.’ Namely, the artist’s Spotify page.

Says McGrath: ‘Beauty, fashion, and music have been intrinsically linked since the 1960s. In this digitally-empowered, digital era of makeup where fans crave instant glamour gratification, I always want to reach fans where they’re most engaged. That’s why this relationship with Spotify is absolutely major, because it merges beauty and music in a whole new way, that’s never been done before.’

So maybe social media is helping shopping become even simpler?

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