Social shopping has been one of the buzz words throughout the e-commerce world for the past few years. Many brands have found their start or the majority of their sales through platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. These social media platforms continue to change e-commerce business daily. What started as redirection of posts to the e-commerce site, transitioned to frictionless purchases through the platform itself. Shouldn't something call "social shopping" be more about interacting with others and less about just looking at what others are wearing?
But online shoppers continue to be missing some of the social aspects of the physical world that individuals receive when shopping. As our world constantly changes due to technology, it has altered people's perspective of the world. Instead of the organic nature of the social experience that happens when going into a physical store with people, influencers' opinions have become the social currency of the day. However, the effect of influences has continued to grow less impactful, consumers are no longer looking for stranger's opinions. Instead, they are looking to interact with their friends through video calls, sending links through WhatsApp and SMS.
This is real social shopping, not shopping on a social network but making a social connection while shopping. It should provide you with that same feeling you had when your parents let you go to the mall alone for the first time with a friend. That feeling of freedom and knowledge that what is next for you was just unbridled fun, time laughing up and down the hallways of the mall, without a care in the world. But online shopping doesn't provide that same feeling. All of the so-called social commerce just makes you feel like you are always trying to play catch up to some influencer's style and not create your own.
The future of eCommerce will push the boundaries of new interactive technology, not only with the brand but also with how consumers interact while shopping. Creating that human connection online has become more accessible through Zoom and other technology. These technologies are being adopted at incredible rates. The tools we have today can help to transform the way that we shop today with our friends. One thing that has come out of COVID is the need to find new ways to socialize when not with each other.