Inspired post by John Bell on the evolution of social shopping over at the Digital Influence Mapping Project.

In addition to the standard social shopping fare of soliciting friends opinions, reviewing ratings or reviews by strangers or friends, group buying, finding endorsements from friends or ‘strangers with expertise’, wish lists and registries, affiliate sales networks (e.g. Amazon) and relevant recommendations (e.g. iTunes Genius function), John sees 3 new social shopping trends emerging:

  • Real-Time Recommendations – tapping into social graph to get an opinion or some type of feedback through Facebook Connect, Twitter and other social networks
  • New Wave of Affiliate Marketing – commission-based product reviews (transparency of course) to store widgets on forums and blogs
  • Curated Event Shopping – time-limited (and invitation-only) sample sale events (e.g. Ideeli), campaign pop-up stores. Timely, Quality, Value (TQV)

We agree that these 3 trends are set to grow, and we’d tentatively add four more; Social Shopping Portals like SososherStoreenvy and ThisNext that group or link third party stores and offer bookmarking, social networking  and price comparison services for shoppers, Deal Feeds like Dell Outlet,  Crowdsourced Deal Directories like Deals.Wootjustboughtit (local) and retailmenot, and Recommender Systems (Pandora for shopping) like StyleFeeder that use collaborative filtering to offer taste-based personal shopping advice (building on John’s relevant recommendations theme).