Thursday, May 10, 2007

The rise of social shopping sites

Shopping online seems to be getting even more enjoyable with the addition of social shopping sites, although the socializing part of shopping is gaining in prominence. The rise of web 2.0 has enabled consumers to go beyond sales transactions to chat with friends, offer and get opinions on products and services and interact with other shoppers and consumers.

Social networking sites that specialize in shopping are able to let consumers interact while regular web retail site are not able to do. They are better than shopping comparison sites too, as these only compare prices and features. What makes social shopping sites so popular is that they are not affiliated with any retail store or product. Some of the most popular social shopping sites include Kaboodle, ShopWiki, StyleFeeder, ThisNext, StyleHive and CrowdStorm.
The impact of social sites already is noticeable, says Shyam Krishnan, program manager and team leader at research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. “E-commerce is being redefined: In this case, a multitude of shoppers are able to interact and pick and choose and recommend products with other shoppers online,” Krishnan says. “This will go a long way in helping online retailing.”

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