How to Make Online Shopping More Social and Less Lonely

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller

Today we’re at a juncture where the question isn’t about what’s on social media but what’s not. True, coming of smart phones and mobile commerce has heralded in an era of sublime online shopping experience. But man being a social animal, online shopping can be at times quite lonely since there is a conspicuous absence of meaningful face time in this process. That is where the discussion on social shopping assumes significance.

Here’s a list of what you can do as an online business owner to make shopping more of a social affair:

Encourage consumer activities in social media sites: Your social media account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ shouldn’t just sit there idle; it must come alive. Encourage consumers to get down to virtual interactions with you as well as among themselves. Embolden them to write product reviews, give ratings, provide feedback, and give suggestions for product and service improvement. Let social media be a platform where consumers can consult and recommend each other products and/or services easily.

Embrace latest apps for social shopping: Earlier the situation was that shoppers arrived in droves in local stores with friends for shopping. Now even online retailers can expect to happen this on their site. Brand comparison, sharing products with friends and social recommendations are becoming regular. All you have to do is update yourself with the latest retail technology by making the right amount of investment. Apps that not only allow consumers to search products and shop but also shop together with their near and dear ones are the need of the hour.

Learn something from location-based shopping sites: There is much to learn from a provider of location-specific deals of the day like Groupon. Alerts on deals in your neighborhood mean a lot to shopping enthusiasts. Such exciting and strategic product and service offering are replicated through social shares. Make your products and/or services sensational enough to be worthy of capturing the attention of millions of consumers at a time.

Believe in co-creation and user-generated content: We’re past the time of active retailers and passive consumers. Today, consumers are well informed and empowered like never before. This offers an opportunity for online retailers to leverage creation and dispersal of values related to their brand by working in close association with consumers. Promote user-generated content as fellow consumers find them more trustworthy when it comes to product info. Social merchandizing is now the key to open up your online store to greater number of people.

Getting to know what your peers think on a particular item as you buy it is a wonderful experience. Social validation is now a recurring theme in every social media platform as a breed of increasingly active consumers is already on their way to make online shopping a socially relevant act. The quicker e-commerce leaders realize it, the better.