Shop Social 2011 - A whitepaper analyzing the trends around social shopping in 2011


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Shop Social 2011 - A whitepaper analyzing the trends around social shopping in 2011

  1. 1. SHOP Never Shop Alone Social shopping involves using social media tools to enhance the shopping experience. It’s a leading trend among consumers, and it’s multi-platform, multi-cultural,SOCIAL and multi-functional. It occurs at all stages of the buying cycle and happens during online and in-store shopping excursions. This phenomenon is poised to change significantly the way people consume. “Behind every purchase is an experience that creates a brand advocate or enemy, andEmerging Social Media Trends & social media is now the battleground where shoppersTheir Effects on Consumer Behaviors take sides,” said Geoff Galat, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Tealeaf Technology, Inc. Share mechanisms make recommendations easily accessible and influence purchase decisions. Pre- and post-purchase sharing, via photo/video uploads and text updates, creates community hubs around personal shopping behaviors and preferences. Friendships form over similar purchase interests, and shoppers support each other’s consumer lifestyle in likes, tweets, and comments. So naturally, the question emerges: Where does your brand fit in? But before we jump ahead, there are some really important people we’d like you to meet… SHOP SOCIAL 1
  2. 2. The New ‘Social’“I’m an impulse shopper “I kinda feel entitled to& with social media I’m Consumers deals online at this point.” Social shopping introduces a bold new way to shop andshopping even more...” an equally bold and new consumer. At present, Millenials and Gen Xers are the most active social shoppers, but they are also the earliest adopters and most prolific users of social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Location- Based Applications, etc. As a larger and more diverse audience adopts these platforms, social shopping culture will likely spread throughout all age groups. Understanding social media platforms and how they are used during the purchase cycle is the first step to “Picture sharing is becoming the social brand social shoppers are seeking. “Why wouldn’t you a big deal for me.” Armed with the right knowledge and digital-social skills, share a good deal?” brands can effectively reach, engage, and build genuine relationships with social shoppers. This report explores the emerging trends of social shopping, examining the most active platforms and taking an elemental look at the users that make them chatter and buzz. Get ready for a crash course in social shopping and walk away knowing how to shop, shout, find, and support like a seasoned social shopper.“Should I get it, orshould I get it in a “I share the informationdifferent color?” probably more than not.” “When I get a good deal, I feel GREAT.” SHOP SOCIAL 2
  3. 3. The ExperimentOn Cyber Monday, November 29, 2010, Flightpath The goal of our research project was simply exploration.launched a multi-media research project called We isolated an emerging consumer and wanted to take aShopSocial 2010. We interviewed a handful of social closer, more intimate look at their lifestyle. The followingshoppers and asked them to tell us how social media sections present the qualitative and quantitative datatools and trends influence their shopping behaviors. gathered from the experiment and present analysis,We created a microsite, a YouTube channel, and ran a theories, and predictions garnered from the researchcontest to encourage user-generated submissions. project. SHOP SOCIAL 3
  4. 4. “When I think of social shopping, I think of me.” “Deals and sales are coming to me now…” Arie Author of Christine Author Tineey.comThe Shoppers Shops on recommendation “I actually put my trust on Twitter.” Purchase sharer via photos & videos “Shopping is a daily routine.”Leveraging our own internal social networks led usto four candidates who live and work in New York City. “I kinda feel entitled to deals online at this point.” Kelly Editor of MASQUE Magazine Jerry Groupon devotee Actively recommends deal/products to friends“I’ll see how many I can Reputable source of content & recommendations “I’m a Twitter girl.” “I’m shopping or looking for a deal, everyday.”get and buy it right there.” SHOP SOCIAL 4
  5. 5. The SetupFlightpath asked each social shopper to come in for avideo interview. The shoppers knew ahead of time thatthey’d be filmed talking about social media and shopping,but they did not know what questions they’d be asked.We asked each candidate a series of ten questions andsome additional questions based on their responses.The interviews lasted between 15 – 30 minutes, andFlightpath edited each one down to a short montageof the highlights. We posted the videos on the YouTubechannel,, with a callto action for other social shoppers to submit their videosand join the conversation.Flightpath added three additional video interviews tothe playlist throughout the campaign from internal staffmembers noted for their social shopping. SHOP SOCIAL 5
  6. 6. RESULTSQuantitative Popularity among the videos varied: *Views recorded on 1/3/2011.The YouTube channel receivedtraffic and content views: 1,963 564 YouTube YouTube Channel Views Upload ViewsShopSocial 2010 resulted ina surplus of qualitative dataabout new consumer habitsand behaviors growingfrom social media tools and 102 148platforms: 39 59 46 76 87 61- How social media influences online shopping ShopSocial 2010 Arie of Kelly of MASQUE Magazine Christine of Jerry Denise of Cavol of @cavol Jocelyn of @joceeide- What/how platforms are used to shop socially- How social shopping affects purchases- What do consumers expect from brands in social media- How shoppers bond/interact over shared consumers interests- How consumers define “social shopping” SHOP SOCIAL 6
  7. 7. SOCIAL SHOPPERS USE TWITTER TO Get real-time recommendations from friends about purchases - Does this color look good on me? - Should I eat here? - Is this deal really worth it? Share recommendations with friendsTwitter Discoveries Participate inThe majority of participants in ShopSocial 2010 indicated Social shoppers expect a fast response on Twitter, whether promotionsthat Twitter was their favorite platform for social shopping. it’s from their own followers, using hashtags to connect - RT special deals/offersSpeed of response time emerged as the most attractive with the larger Twitterverse, or communicating directly - Enter contestsfeature of using Twitter as a shopping tool. with brands. They actively seek out recommendations, and they aren’t shy about voicing their own opinions - Special offers from companies about shopping experiences. Interact with brands People really enjoy the interaction they receive from a brand or business, and they reported that this kind of on a one-on-one level attention makes them feel appreciated and increases - Praise/complain about a product brand affinity. or service - Ask questions about product or service - Offer suggestions for improvement - Create a social “human” connection SHOP SOCIAL 7
  8. 8. SHOPPING BEHAVIORS THAT OCCUR ON FACEBOOK TEND TO BE OUTGOING AND OPEN Sharing purchases and purchase aspirations - Photos of recent purchases - Links to products one wantsFacebook Discoveries to buy or is going to buyFacebook proved to be a stronger medium to find Facebook connections tend to be close: family, friends,purchase recommendations. Since Facebook is not as colleagues, classmates, etc. This cultivates a more Asking for after-fast-paced as Twitter, the value of an intended purchase intimate environment that influences social shopping purchase opinionstends to be higher. Social shoppers reported that it’s behaviors and interactions. People will wait longer fortypical to ask for something like a car recommendation purchase feedback from their network on Facebook. - What do you think of this?and patiently wait for feedback from their network. - Does this look good on me? Brand promotions on Facebook were less popular because they were usually more time-consuming and took longer to conclude. People were more cautious Joining brand about “spamming” friends and family with share posts communities associated with contests. - Responding to brand updates Facebook Holiday Trend: People dropped their gift - Engaging in conversations with wish-lists hints via Facebook status updates for friends other community members and family to see. Several social-savvy retailers took - Using @username to mention brand/ note of this behavior and encouraged customers to person and start conversations check Facebook feeds and or make those wishes visible. SHOP SOCIAL 8
  9. 9. SOCIAL SHOPPERS SPEND TIME DAILY ON GROUP-BUYING/ COUPONING SITESGroupon DiscoveriesThe pioneer of group-buying websites, Groupon, offers Social shoppers will forward daily deals, even if they don’t Reviewing daily dealslarge discounts (typically 50% or more) on goods and purchase them, if they think they’re relevant to a friend. - Usually local business product/services through geo-targeted, daily emails. Groupon This type of recommendation is a critical part of social services offeringsand other similar sites, LivingSocial, Gilt City, etc., were shopping and one of the most influential. The majoritya significant part of our candidates social shopping of the candidates reported that a direct forward from aroutines. friend significantly increased their likelihood to purchase Purchasing deals if they liked the product/service. Social-network forwards that interest them often lead to group-buying coupon purchases. Friends are highly likely to purchase a daily deal just to share the experience. Our shoppers voiced appreciation of the Forwarding/ Groupon one-click purchasing model on mobile devices: recommending deals iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc. to friends Researching new companies SHOP SOCIAL 9
  10. 10. LOCATION-BASED APPS Social shoppers adjust behaviors to take advantage of location-based offers - Checking in at certain locations - Shopping at a store to take advantage of special sale orLocation-Based Apps Discoveries promotionMobile, location-based applications like Foursquare, Location-based apps were the least popular form ofScvngr, Shopkick, and Facebook Places offer yet another social shopping among the candidates. However, they Social shoppers areopportunity for social shopping. Checking in at various spoke of positive experiences when using the apps and privy to certain dealsphysical locations in a city is a key ritual in a digital native’s receiving discount codes, coupons, and other offers. because they arelifestyle. Most location-based apps offer incentive forchecking in at check-out—discount on purchase, points, Remembering to check in at a location was one of the most difficult tasks for our shoppers, and some reported “regulars”and other rewards: discouragement at checking in for a deal that had recently - Frequent check-ins result in sold out. On the positive side, shoppers reported feeling special deals/savings special or appreciated when they received a discount offer for frequenting a business location. Social shoppers spread the word to their social network about savings, deals, sales, etc., when they check in SHOP SOCIAL 10
  11. 11. Who Are Social Shoppers?ResourcefulSocial shoppers are extremely resourceful consumers.They scour the vast corners of the internet to unearth coolnew products and special deals. They hop on social plat-forms to shop by following other users and friends’ linksto products of interest. They interact with brands throughtheir social media feeds, influencing when and how theyshop with that brand. And they shop the old-fashionedway—going to the brick-and-mortar stores in their area,often after getting wind of a good deal or sale online. 25%Outgoing 50% shopping for shouting aboutSocial shoppers are not shy. They make their voices & finding a deal 25%heard when it comes to customer service issues. They of-ten have one-on-one contact with brands via social mediaconversations. They broadcast the latest discount infor-mation to their network. supporting their network through shares/commentsSocialSocial shoppers love to share the experience of shop-ing, and they form friendships, online and offline, basedon this hobby. They support each other by engaging inshopping-related conversations: product recommenda-tions, feedback, opinions, reviews, suggestions, etc. Theypass on personal recommendations to their friends, andthey wait to get a good deal and support their friends’purchase decisions. We broke down the habits of social shoppers based on their collective responses to our interview questions. *Data gathered from the ShopSocial 2010 interview candidates SHOP SOCIAL 11
  12. 12. Types of Social Shoppers Tweets: Initiators I’m hanging out with @Initiator and Initiators are highly influential within the social media we’re trying @brand’s new product/ space. Four of our seven participants were Initiators. service. They are typically content producers and may have blogs, large social networks, and are likely to maintain Hi @entirenetwork check out my active profiles on many different social media platforms. They spend more time shopping and finding deals and new pictures/video of a product I follow up by sharing promotions via their social media just bought. Tell me what you think. feeds. @brand I had a really great/ Initiators a part of a larger group called “Influencers,” but poor experience at your place of what sets them apart is a stronger focus on shopping. An business. Initiator’s audience is primarily interested in their product opinions and endorsements. They possess considerable @entirenetwork looks like @brand sway over the purchase decisions of their network and is running a deal/sale/promo! are often a lifestyle leader, setting consumer trends that Here’s for the exclusive info http:// others willingly follow. short.urlEndorsers Hey @network do you think I should buy this @brand’s productEndorsers are quieter in the social media space. Their or service? Why or why not?social networks are usually smaller and they spend lesstime producing content. They are much less likely tohave a blog and do much less “shouting” in the space. Dear @localfriends, check out thisThey spend a significant amount of time shopping, al- deal and buy one, too! Then wethough less than Initiators, and their primary focus is rec- can go together & hang out.ommending products and asking for recommendationsfrom their social group. Endorsers tend to be on more Thanks @friend for the greatintimate terms with their online networks and, typically, recommendation. I took yourhave an offline relationship with many members of their advice and purchased theonline networks. upgraded model. SHOP SOCIAL 12
  13. 13. SOCIAL SHOPPING2010 & BEYONDAggregation Nation The New Breed Share, Share EverywhereSocial shoppers, particularly Initiators, will continually The earliest adopters of social shopping tend to be tech- As more retailers become hip to the social shoppinglook for simple ways to aggregate their content and savvy influencers, but that, too, will likely change with trend, they will respond by making their products moreupdates. They are using services like Tumblr and time. As the numbers on all social media platforms grow, readily shareable across social networks, includingHootsuite currently to update multiple profiles in one more and more people will, in turn, become exposed to mechanisms like Facebook Connect, Tweet Thisplace and will continue to try new technologies that make social shopping culture. New social shoppers and social functionality, and more. Retail trendsetters will continuethat process simpler and more efficient. Aggregators shopping communities will evolve with users of varying to explore the world of location-based apps to provideprimed for retail “share” functionality with the option to age groups, technological aptitude, and income levels. incentives for consumers, collaborating with leaders likemake simultaneous, multi-platform updates and personal Foursquare and Facebook Places.recommendations would be best suited for the needs ofan influential social shopper.The Need for SpeedSocial shoppers place value on the speed at which theycan communicate to one another during the shoppingcycle. Twitter is the platform favorite right now, due to itsimmediacy, but other platforms may evolve or new onesmay spring up to better suit the need for speed withinsocial shopping communities. SHOP SOCIAL 13
  14. 14. Summary About FlightpathIt’s 2011, social shopping is big and Flightpath provides digital imperatives—web design and mobile apps, SEM, SEO, social media—with full-service creative and production capabilities. Our team members are a group of truly talented professionals and really cool people, whopoised to get bigger and bigger. discover and mine emotional currency to create real business value.Consumers like it. It’s FUN, entertaining,social, and allows them to connect with We create campaigns that forge a connection through a range of compelling visual language, artful messaging, and charm. It isn’t rocket science, but it is emotional sensitivity.the people in their lives, and even thosethey don’t know, over shared interests, Connect with Us to Learn More:and products. 36 W 25th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10010 | 212.674.5600 new kind of shopping with some www.flightpath.comrudimentary rules: 1. Consumersare friends with each other, and 2.Consumers expect friendships plusbenefits with brands. But brands getbenefits for their contributions too, Referencesnamely being appreciated out in the digital-social open where everyone can see and “Social Media - Holiday Shoppers Turn to Twitter to Share Online Experiences - Internet Retailer.” Industry Strategies for Online Merchants - Internet Retailer. 7 Dec. 2010. < consumers are keeping score. twitter-share-online-experiences>. “Bazaarvoice Data Indicates Dramatic Change in How People Shop and Buy - CRM Magazine.” - The Leading Resource for Customer Relationship Management - from the Editors of CRM Magazine. 6 Dec. 2010. <>. “Fluent: The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report Fluent: The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report.” <>. “The Demographics of Social Shopping Sites - EMarketer.” Market Research & Statistics: Internet Marketing, Advertising & Demographics - EMarketer. 11 Jan. 2011. <>. SHOP SOCIAL 14