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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Is Social Shopping the next big thing?
    There's been a lot of buzz about Social Shopping lately. I think it's wonderful and can revolutionize the way shopping sites are built. What are your thoughts and opinions on this new format? For more information here are a couple links:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/11/te...gy/11ecom.html

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog09-11-06a.html

    It's basically a hybrid between social sites like Myspace and shopping. Users can usually submit products, deals, comments and reviews. They can create recommendation lists and build a roster of friends. Lots of changes going on here in a short amount of time.

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  2. #2
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    When I shop, I just want to go and buy something, not socialize Don't want to comment, review, chit chat, just spend money. But as with anything some people won't like it and there will be people who do and participate. I do like reading the reviews tho like at sites like Amazon or Newegg, that kind of thing.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I've got to respectufully disagree.

    One of the first things I do when I start thinking about buying something is look for user reviews. I want to know about what quirks a product might have, how long I can expect it to last, how well the company is at dealing with problems.

    Because I use them so much, I am inclined to write reviews myself occasionally (just to give something back). This especially applies if I've had some sort of problem others should watch out for.

    I think this all plays in to the "social web" thing. I mean, think about it. Right now Amazon shows you what products you previously looked at and makes suggestions. Now, if that were combined with social networking, you could see what products your friends were checking out. You could say, "Hmm...John Doe just bought the new Spider Man DVD. I don't need to buy one for myself, I'll just watch his." or "Mary just bought a new wine rack. I'll get her a nice corkscrew to go with that for her housewarming."

    The possibilities are really endless. In this day and age, where who we are is so dependant on what we buy, its only natural to move the social web into the commercial sphere.

    --Jason
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Man, feel so behind on the whole online social thing.. Interesting concept though. My shoping habits, though, are pretty much like Trust's. Like a lot of things in my life, I'm in, do my thing in a hurry, and I"m out.

  5. #5
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    I'm with Trust on this one. If I am looking to buy something that is all I want to do. Heck I didn't even read any reviews of the computer I wanted to buy.

  6. #6
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    "I've got to respectufully disagree."

    With what? There is not one type of shopper, never has been. Some people will love it, some won't. I guess a merchant can add a link to a social shopping part of their site as long as it doesn't interfere with people who shop like me

  7. #7
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I'm not interested unless I can attach an affiliate link.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    I'm not interested unless I can attach an affiliate link.
    That's the trick isn't it? To be able to leverage social shopping features while also maintaining your own bottom line. I think the most successful social shopping sites will be a combination of web 1.0 and web 2.0 features.

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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    With what? There is not one type of shopper, never has been.
    True true...there are always going to be different types of people who gravitate towards different types of things.

    I mean, I hate hate hate MySpace. But, it is so big that I am forced to get with it or be left behind (for the music promotion stuff I do...)

    Something might come along that does that for shopping, and for affiliate marketing too!

    I mean, what about instead of clicking on links and placing cookies to register a sale, what if "social affiliates" were paid depending on what people in their "social sphere" do or buy? If someone who I'm friends with buys something I'm promoting I get a commission.

    I think more and more, marketers are realizing that people who operate as "social hubs" (ie. are very influential within their greater social sphere) are worth a lot of money. These are the people who can make something hot or not, generate "buzz" (if you'll excuse my buzzword).

    Leveraging that into social networking on the Internet is a good next step. If you can prove (through some sort of test, like MSN's current CPA contextual advertising tests) that you are influential enough, why not get paid for what your "friends" do and buy?

    It really is such a cool concept! I love this stuff...

    --Jason
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  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    R7 Going 4 Da Bucks
    Great comment R7!!

    As for "social" shopping, I agree with Trust that there will be those who are taken in by the new "packaging" on an ageless past time, and those who will see it as nothing more than a cheeseburger in a different package.

    Personally, I don't have much interest in "chatting" with cyber shoppers (or lurkers) When I am looking to get in, get what I want and get back to the hills!!

    Maybe another slant on this would be for sponsors to sell annoying pop ups and static banners that would appear as non-stop ads in every chat room!! Then you could have lurkers AND nonstop pops - everyone's favorite annoyances... LOL
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  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    I know I don't shop like most people - so I build sites that I probably wouldn't use .

    Social shopping with strangers has little appeal I think, but a sort of shopping forum with friends has mileage.

  12. #12
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Personally it's something I can't see doing from either side (buying or selling). Social butterflies, eeeugghh...

    It could be lucrative to get a product on a popular one, and I'm sure there will be plenty posted--but actually running a site like that? No way--too anathema!

    That said, I do like the fact that it's a Finger to all those "social networking" sites that discriminate against Commerce; it's a response to the anti-commercialists which is cheaper than just giving them all the one-way ticket to Cuba they deserve!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindsprinter
    I am inclined to write reviews myself occasionally (just to give something back). This especially applies if I've had some sort of problem others should watch out for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mindsprinter
    You could say, "Hmm...John Doe just bought the new Spider Man DVD. I don't need to buy one for myself, I'll just watch his."
    Making it too easy for people to give each other reasons to not-buy isn't something I would consider good retailing, from the seller's perspective. Sure, people like to be warned, but all the retailer gets out of that is a warehouse full of unsaleable sh...

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I agree with you Leader, in that social networking so far has been pretty anti commercial. The business model has been build the site, attract users, and then monetize.

    However, there are some huge sites out there now that are just bleeding money (I've heard YouTube spends $1 million a month on bandwidth alone!). The next step is the commercialization. And whoever figures out how to do that effectively is going to be super rich.

    --Jason
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  14. #14
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Just a quick comment...I'm generally the A to B shopper. Offline, I enter a store, I know what I want, I buy it, I leave. Online, I do a quick search, I find what I want, I price comparison shop for maybe 10 minutes, I buy and I'm done.

    However, if I am shopping with a gaggle of girlfriends, I find that I indeed am more likely to buy something that I wasn't intending to. Witness, a pair of knee-high red leather boots. Awesome. Love them. Have nothing to wear them with, don't know if I'll ever wear them, and probably would not have bought them if I were shopping alone. Curse shopping buddies! They drive conversion!
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  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Curse shopping buddies! They drive conversion!
    That's exactly what I'm talking about! That is what makes the social web/shopping thing so potentially exciting!

    Someone out there is going to do it...
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  16. #16
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    There already is, there's a couple of them mentioned in the links Snib posted.

    Buy.com has http://www.yub.com/ since last year I believe? Social shopping plus cash back.

  17. #17
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I agree with you Leader, in that social networking so far has been pretty anti commercial. The business model has been build the site, attract users, and then monetize.

    However, there are some huge sites out there now that are just bleeding money (I've heard YouTube spends $1 million a month on bandwidth alone!).
    Yeah HAW HAW! History repeats itself...

    I said right away that DotComBoom 2.0 was on...only a matter of time before the BUST and then all this content-is-king stuff can go right back to blazes, where it belongs!

    It really amazes me that many people don't see the uselessness of those unmonetized unbusiness-models, considering that not even 10 years ago, this SAME CRUD (get lots of traffic, then try to monetize it) was tried, and it resulted in the towing of Porsches and the eBaying of Aeron chairs after losing their investors' money! Millions and millions of dollars, BURNT for nothing! And yet these new sites clamour for a dose of their own!

    The first Bust should have taught everyone that the "how to make money" needs to come FIRST--but these new unmonetized places have signed up for the refresher course. When will they learn: In business, Revenue Is King! And not just after blowing millions of dollars!

    IMO the only ones who'll get rich off these uncommercialized sites are the ones who manage to con some other sap into buying them. But like in the last bust, eventually the saps stop coming, leaving the last buyer holding a very expensive bag.

    Agh.

  18. #18
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MINDsprinter
    That's exactly what I'm talking about! That is what makes the social web/shopping thing so potentially exciting!

    Someone out there is going to do it...
    When I checked Google News for this story (because I don't want to register to see the story Snib linked to), there were a few sites mentioned in one of the link-descriptions. So it's already being done.

    At least social(gag)-shopping has an inherent way to make money...at least, if the products are suitably aff-coded, that is...

  19. #19
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    MySpace seems to be fine raking in the dough, Yahoo being rumored to buy Facebook for 1 billion: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/ar...369527,00.html

    Those are King type numbers to me. Leader you're advertising Goodbulbs on MySpace.

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Yahoo being rumored to buy Facebook for 1 billion: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/ar...369527,00.html
    I'll repeat:
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    IMO the only ones who'll get rich off these uncommercialized sites are the ones who manage to con some other sap into buying them.
    Facebook's owners have apparently succeeded in finding their Golden Sap. That just goes along with what I was saying.

    It's the guy who's holding it when the Bust hits, who's screwed.

  21. #21
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    Don't know, time will tell. MySpace was sold for $580 million. They bring in lots of revenue, I'm sure they made that back and more. Anybody have any numbers? Did they screw themselves for buying it for $580 million? Some say they got it cheap.

  22. #22
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Leader you're advertising Goodbulbs on MySpace.
    Are you referring to that FREE ad I put when someone hotlinked my image? (I switched the image for an ad...hence, free ad.) I'll advertise darned near *anywhere* (except a porn or hate site) for free.

    Or is MySpace actually using a neuron and at least showing PPC ads? (If so, that would explain the lousy conversion ratio I've been getting from those ads!! I'd ban MySpace from showing any paid ads of mine! They're riddled with credit-less teens...no need to pay to advertise to that demographic...)

  23. #23
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    Thru Overture you are.

    As far as revenue, I've read they bring in
    "MySpace makes about 7 million dollars a day in advertising revenue"

    So that would be over 2.5 billion a year.

    Minus expenses.

  24. #24
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    When I shop, I just want to go and buy something, not socialize Don't want to comment, review, chit chat,
    Because you're a man.

    I'm with Trust on this one. If I am looking to buy something that is all I want to do.
    Because you're a boy.

    ...a pair of knee-high red leather boots. Awesome. Love them. Have nothing to wear them with, don't know if I'll ever wear them, ...
    Try them with a knee-length brown or taupe tweed skirt, or a pleated below-the-knee white skirt. You'll be a smash!
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  25. #25
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    This is tongue-in-cheek, but if you think about it... it's true

    If I let someone post on a blog for 3 days the merits of a toaster on my site, I'd loose my commissions becuase my toaster merchant has a .007 day cookie

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