The Future of Social Shopping Will Change How We Shop -- Cary Tilds

By GroupM Archives
Cover image for  article: The Future of Social Shopping Will Change How We Shop -- Cary Tilds

Each year the holiday shopping season seems to start earlier. The options for sales and deals are dizzying. Some love the excitement of searching for the best deal, while others relish the challenge of finding that gift that’s the newest, hottest thing.

I panic as the pressure mounts to just get it all done while my mind tells me I need to find the best deals on the most interesting things. Why can’t I go back to the days of folding down the corners of the JC Penney holiday catalogue?

Some say the advent of eCommerce and mCommerce have helped feed the beast of holiday shopping madness. I say it’s more confusing than ever. I am hopeful, though, that things are going to get easier. One reason is something calledsCommerce.

Social commerce is any of us, as consumers, leveraging our network to help us sort and filter, highlighting the most important things we should be paying attention to and are passionate about. For example, Wanelo lets me check out which companies my friends are following. If I see a product I love from one of their recommendations, I can save it for later or even buy it right then. My friends have great taste, thus it makes it easier for me to find wonderful gift ideas.

According to a recent Business Intelligence report, The New Art Of Social Commerce: How Brands And Retailers Are Converting Tweets, Pins, And Likes Into Sales, three social commerce trends – mobile, visual web and demographic trends – “are converging that promise to transform social media into a viable commerce platform.”

Social commerce will be a driving factor for eCommerce and mCommerce trends in this year and years to come. And the reward for retailers is big. eMarketer projects that retail ecommerce holiday sales in the U.S. will rise about 15% again this year, and that mobile’s share will reach 16%.

Further, BI reports that “Pinterest's reach isn't huge compared to plenty of other social platforms, but its impact on e-commerce is outsized, accounting for 23% of global social-mediated e-commerce sales in the second quarter of 2013.”

So the potential rewards are big, and this gives me hope that more and more networks of online vendors leverage technology to help me go social shopping. New strategies are being deployed by companies to help focus on this area all together, moving the model from influence to activation.

· Twitter appointed a new Head of Commerce, Nathan Hubbard, to help make the company’s products and services more effective for retailers.

· Foursquare is focusing on driving the last mile to purchase and leveraging social networks to support and reinforce purchase and repurchase behavior.

· New start-ups like Chirpify are creating new ways to take action within the social stream itself by leveraging #hashtags and making them into #action tags. For example, #buy lets you buy the product mentioned directly from a company’s Tweet.

There’s clearly much more work to be done to integrate and improve social commerce into the shopping section or features of all sites and apps. Social commerce will become the filter needed to help sort through the crazy madness of not only holiday shopping, but also eCommerce and mCommerce ecosystems overall. Our new version of folding down the pages of the JC Penney holiday catalogue is moving to favoriting Tweets and Pins from our social networks to help make it easier for us to daydream about our wish lists. Happy shopping!

As Chief Innovation Officer for GroupM, Cary Tilds is responsible for leading the company’s efforts in the in the identification, evaluation and development of new and emerging digital platform technologies. Appointed in January 2013, Cary works with all of GroupM’s media agencies, helping them to engage with established players and identify new game changers that will best enable them to powerfully employ “tech stack” digital tools such as search, social, and mobile in the development of marketing strategies for clients. Cary can be reached at or on Twitter at @ctilds.

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