For those of us who are close to the evolving trends of digital media, it was tough to miss how the convergence of real-time mediums influenced consumer behavior this holiday season.
Leading up to the holidays, people turned to their social connections for brand sentiment, exclusive deals, and most importantly to figure out what was on their loved ones wish lists. There is little doubt the 2009 holiday season ushered in the era of “Social Shopping.” A great example to check out is a service called Blippy, which provides an easy way to see and discuss the things people are buying online. Retailers are even beginning to give the consumer the ability to place online orders in-store and web-enabled devices are obviously giving customer’s access to product information and user reviews.
Major social sites like Twitter and Facebook, got all the glory; but e-commerce sites like Amazon are continuing to refine social mechanisms for members to swap ideas and review products. Its no surprise these marketplaces are continuing to strongly influence consumer purchasing decisions. This consumer trend will likely lead to the explosive growth of sites like Blippy, Kaboodle and Thisnext; whom are positioning themselves at the intersection of social media and e-commerce (social shopping) to consolidate the open social content the consumer is searching for before making a purchase.
As the concept of “Social Shopping” quickly rears its head from desktop to mobile, it’s not outrageous to begin to think about how these networks will integrate into Social TV. While we have a ways-to-go before “Social Shopping” becomes mainstream, some bleeding edge services such as uTVee, which encourages members to tag products on TV/Movies are beginning to take shape. By chasing traditional advertising dollars, uTVee enables brands to socially connect and sell products seen on TV/Movies in order to monetize the new era of accessing multimedia content from YouTube, Hulu and Ustream.
Its easy to imagine the possibilities and we look forward to exploring them with you in the New Year.