Social Shopping

I've written about various breeds of social shopping in the past, so I decided to give some thought into a categorization with examples. Below I've listed the different types of social shopping I've observed and some companies that support them.


Comments and Ratings -- Commenting on products has been around almost as long as e-commerce. Two popular players in this space are BazaarVoice and PowerReviews. Most shoppers prefer relying on peer reviews rather than retailer descriptions, so the influence over sales is very strong.

f-commerce -- A new term that was sure to rear its ugly head when retailers started allowing shopping on Facebook, And its all Elastic Path and Alvenda's fault!

Co-shopping -- Retailers like Wet Seal are enabling multiple people to shop together online. This is particularly applicable to fashion, where the real-time exchange of opinions is important. I actually tried this with a co-worker and its pretty cool.

Bragging -- Blippy is Twitter for shoppers, allowing purchases to be "tweeted" so you can keep up with your friends. I get alerted when friends download music or apps from iTunes because chances are I'll be interested as well. This covert influence is one-up'ed by Snatter, a service that gives people discounts for tweeting or posting promotions from retailers. This is the petri dish of viral marketing.

Advice -- Combine the bragging of Blippy and the opinions from BazaarVoice and you'd get ShopSocially, a social network dedicated to spreading product knowledge amongst informed shoppers.

I'm sure if I gave it more thought, a few more types would come to mind, but I've got to get back to work. Now is not the time to be blogging at Oracle!


Glad you liked our 'Shop with Friends' feature on Wet Seal, powered by, that enables shoppers to invite an online friend to shop in sync right from their site. Sesh also has a Facebook app called 'Shop with Friends' where members can invite friends shopping directly from Facebook.

Diane from the Sesh Team

Posted by Diane Rogers on May 21, 2010 at 07:06 AM PDT #

I like this categorization, but I'm curious: Where would you categorize social shopping sites such as Kaboodle, ThisNext, and others that seem to incorporate more than one of the features that you have listed?

Posted by Jeremy Allen on June 20, 2010 at 07:40 PM PDT #

Jeremy, I would place those into the "Advice" category because its shoppers helping shoppers.

Posted by David on June 20, 2010 at 10:45 PM PDT #

Hi David, good overview of social shopping categories!

To complement the article: Another company in the (real-time) co-shopping category is the Dutch company Chatvenure. With their Shopwithyourfriends application, consumers can shop with their friends from Facebook, Twitter, Messenger and Hyves in real, real-time based on co-browsing techniques.

They connect to their friends and launch a live, co-browsing, social shopping experience. This way they get instant advice to make the right purchase decision and enjoy shopping with their friends. Just as in real life!

Try the demo at the site or at one of the webshops where we already implemented the app, e.g.

Posted by Chantal on July 19, 2010 at 08:38 PM PDT #

another category - intent-based recommendations. More to come.

Posted by matt on October 12, 2010 at 11:43 PM PDT #

I don't understand what I have to gain by sharing my buying habits with people, and why would I want people to be able to judge me by how I spend my money?

Posted by Zicocn on October 14, 2010 at 06:37 PM PDT #

There is no incentive to sign up to Swipely or Blippy, so why would anyone use this site. Moreover, how will these sites monetize? They have both managed to rake in millions of VC, but no apparent business model...??

Posted by discount on October 14, 2010 at 06:39 PM PDT #

Zicocn & discount,
There's no incentive and yet there are lots of users. I think people naturally like to discuss the things they've purchased. These sites just move the conversation from the water-cooler to the internet.

Posted by David on October 15, 2010 at 02:14 AM PDT #

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