Social shopping is changing the way we buy online forever

pinterest buy it button allows for social shopping

The Net Set, Net-a-Porter’s new social shopping app, is the first of its kind, allowing users to share their favourite items, follow trends and trendsetter, and, of course, buy. Instead of ‘friends’ or ‘followers’, the Net Set allows you collect ‘admirers’.

Its release draws attention to the growing trend of social shopping – purchasing based on sharing, recommendations and ‘favourites’.

On Facebook you can ‘buy, on Pinterest you can ‘buy it’, on Instagram you can ‘shop now’. These seemingly innocuous little buttons are slowly infiltrating our social media apps, and their presence looks set to change the way we purchase forever. 

instagram shop now button allows for social shopping

“A higher e-commerce conversion rate”

So why is social shopping more powerful than more traditional e-commerce platforms? The answer is any marketeer’s dream: consumer data.

Mike Purzycki, chief business officer at fitness platform Fitmoo described to Adweek: “Facebook and Instagram have so much data on their users that they will be able to serve shoppable ads that are very relevant and, as a result, will have a higher e-commerce conversion rate.”

“The algorithms behind the ads that are being served will determine the success of their e-commerce efforts.”

facebook buy button allows for social shopping

Pinterest is essentially a place for users to declare their love for products, making it the perfect platform for social shopping.

In a statement, Pinterest said: “Buyable Pins will be discoverable through the same recommendations technology we’ve been building over the years, including home feed, search, category feeds and boards. We’ll also be launching new search filters to find products based on price and colour.”

“Social media advertising will replace traditional forms of advertising”

So how can brands utilise the social shopping generation? Amit Shah, CEO of Jirafe, Inc. said: “The new wave of buy buttons from Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. is meant to remove friction from merchants’ purchase funnels – and make the buying process about the customer.

“The most important thing for merchants to know is which channel will pack the biggest punch for their brand.

“Given the developments in social commerce, continuously increasing mobile engagement, and what we are seeing across our merchant base, we believe that social media advertising will replace traditional forms of advertising.

“How brands redefine their social strategy to make the most out of a buy button starts with looking at what their social strategy supports, be it engagement, customer service, or organic media versus paid,” he said. “Businesses will have to make sure their strategy supports revenue, customer attention, and customer acquisition in order to see sales.”

Josie Tutty

Digital Content and Social Media Manager, Positive Luxury