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Social Shopping: Movement or Trend?

Monday, May 12th, 2014

The recent announcement that Twitter has aligned with Amazon to allow people to sync an item in a Tweet to their shopping basket was big news. No one can argue that it makes sense, especially for the socially inclined. This partnership makes it easy to turn a #hashtag into a purchase, taking us one step further in making ‘social shopping’ come to life.

For years we’ve been watching Amazon expand their shopping capabilities—from Amazon Prime to the more recent Amazon Dash and Prime Pantry—Amazon continues to up the ante when it comes to offering their shoppers value and convenience. Chatting with colleagues this week, plenty of pontification emerged on what this might mean to the industry.

But, social shopping has been around for some time (e.g., Twitter and Amex). Is it turning a corner? Is it becoming a real movement and shopper habit? Or is it still a marketing trend?

The functional desire of shoppers for easy, on-the-go solutions may help make this a commonplace habit. But, it’s public nature may also inhibit participation or limit the types of items purchased ‘socially.’ Many are happy to post what book they just purchased, but what about health and wellness items? Or toilet paper?

Considering not only the functional impact of these social shopping tools but also the psychological impact is important. The ability to balance those shopper needs may breed the next wave of social shopping activations. Do you think Amazon could ultimately become the intelligent shopping cart that follows you everywhere? What kind of movement do you think this news might spark in the shopper industry?

Contributed by: Laura Davis-Taylor and Kira Torgersen

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