Online social shoppingDo you feel more of an urge to shell out money for a product if it's been "liked" by your Facebook friends? Do you get an extra rush from discovering daily deal offers on chic new neighborhood restaurants or treatments at a nearby spa?

You are not alone: In the digital era defined by sites like Facebook, Foursquare and Groupon, a new breed of consumers has emerged: social shoppers, people increasingly relying on the wisdom of the digital crowd to help them make their purchasing decisions.

In turn, it seems brand marketers' traditional advertising ploys are losing some influence with the public. According to a study by advertising agency Leo Burnett, 47% of Americans use social media in some capacity to shop.

And 85% of consumers around the world believe social networks will shorten their shopping time, a recent IBM study revealed. "They trust that the opinion of family and friends, and getting the public's opinion, will save them time,"Jill Puleri, global retail leader for IBM global business services, told DailyFinance.

A study by Leo Burnett breaks down social shoppers into four types, based on their habits:

YelpThe Efficiency-Sprint Shopper

These practical-minded shoppers are all about using social media to help them zero in rapidly on consumer-generated information to make sensible purchases. When researching a product on the Web, their thinking would be along the lines of, "I will just look at the reviews with most stars and buy the most popular one to save time," said Nick Jones, executive vice president of the retail practice of Arc Worldwide, a division of Leo Burnett. "It fills the efficiency need."

This type of shopper would gravitate toward review sites like Yelp.com and Amazon.com to gather up peer ratings. "Instead of relying on an advertiser to tell them what's a good product or brand, [they rely on] what a group of consumers thinks," Jones told DailyFinance.

Peer shoppingThe Peer-Oriented Shopper

These shoppers rely heavily on recommendations and tips from friends. "They're looking for validation and information from their peers," whose advice on a product or service trumps the sales pitches of manufacturers or retailers, Jones says. Indeed, 97% of the shoppers surveyed who fall into this category said they trust their friends more than other sources.

Facebook, the top digital social platform for expressing one's opinions, is the natural habitat of the peer-oriented shopper.

The In-the-Know Shopper

Members of this subset of the peer-oriented shopper cultivate their insider status to get "a sort of lifestyle validation" from their contemporaries by being aware of the latest trends bubbling up in the social-network sphere, Jones says.

FoursquareTheir purchases tend to be more "wants" based than "needs" based.

They're the kind of shopper who would tweet something like, "I talked about the Versace [line] at H&M weeks before it happened!" Jones said, "because it makes them look like they're in-the-know."

And Twitter, with its 140-character info-bites that enable everyday people and businesses alike to dish out ideas and information in real time, is designed for these shoppers, who prize their hipness and have a craving to be connected with trends "right there, on the spot," he says.

Foursquare, the location-based social platform, is another tool of the in-the-know shopper. With Foursquare, shoppers can "check in" to locations, including stores, and earn shopping incentives from retailers. In-the-know shoppers tend to broadcast their shopping whereabouts to friends, and spread the news about store offers, Jones says.

YouSwoopThe Impulse-Buying Shopper

These social shoppers fear losing out on that surprise offer or great discount -- a type of shopping inclination that lends them to flock to Groupon, LivingSocial and YouSwoop.com, daily deal sites that are in the business of "discovery offers," Jones said. These shoppers want to "keep up to date and never miss out."


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

What are Penny Stocks

The lucrative and dangerous world of penny stocks.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

14 Comments

Filter by:
arenadood

When you are disabled and just can't go out shopping, the internet is a Godsend.

March 09 2012 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
autonimous

If ads are forced down my throat (pop ups, emails, or lead ins to video news reports), I flatly refuse to use those products/manufacturers. I only buy on line what I can not readily find in local shops. Online shopping is a contributing factor to rising unemployment rates - if no one is shopping locally then those employees are more apt to be let go.

You may not care now, but when the gun is leveled at your position, you may think otherwise... Social media, social shopping - sounds more like 'social disease'

March 09 2012 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
autonimous

If ads are forced down my throat (pop ups, emails, or lead ins to video news reports), I flatly refuse to use those products/manufacturers. I only buy on line what I can not readily find in local shops. Online shopping is a contributing factor to rising unemployment rates - if no one is shopping locally then those employees are more apt to be let go.

You may not care now, but when the gun is leveled at your position, you may think otherwise... Social media, social shopping - sounds more like 'social disease'

March 09 2012 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Corduroy-fire-kills-

Meh. I'm drawn to free shipping, low prices, and no sales tax. Thank you Amazon.

March 09 2012 at 2:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Detangl

Shoppers can check out Detangl's personalized deals, based on reviews and recommendations from family, friends and the web.
About Detangl
Detangl (www.detangl.com) is a daily deal aggregator (10,000 deals across 600 websites), like the Kayak+ of daily deals, which gives personalized recommendations on local deals to its users while ensuring that they are educated about the quality of the business offering the deal. Detangl sources deals from many daily deal websites like GroupOn, Living Social, Google Offers, BuyWithMe, TravelZoo. It is built on the premise that cost alone should not determine a deal for an individual, other factors are equally important - quality of the business, user preferences to name a few.

March 08 2012 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Detangl

Shoppers can check out Detangl's personalized deals, based on reviews and recommendations from family, friends and the web.
About Detangl
Detangl (www.detangl.com) is a daily deal aggregator (10,000 deals across 600 websites), like the Kayak+ of daily deals, which gives personalized recommendations on local deals to its users while ensuring that they are educated about the quality of the business offering the deal. Detangl sources deals from many daily deal websites like GroupOn, Living Social, Google Offers, BuyWithMe, TravelZoo. It is built on the premise that cost alone should not determine a deal for an individual, other factors are equally important - quality of the business, user preferences to name a few.

March 08 2012 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Detangl

Shoppers can check out Detangl's personalized deals, based on reviews and recommendations from family, friends and the web.

About Detangl
Detangl (www.detangl.com) is a daily deal aggregator (10,000 deals across 600 websites), like the Kayak+ of daily deals, which gives personalized recommendations on local deals to its users while ensuring that they are educated about the quality of the business offering the deal. Detangl sources deals from many daily deal websites like GroupOn, Living Social, Google Offers, BuyWithMe, TravelZoo. It is built on the premise that cost alone should not determine a deal for an individual, other factors are equally important - quality of the business, user preferences to name a few.

March 08 2012 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Detangl

Shoppers can check out Detangl's personalized deals, based on reviews and recommendations from family, friends and the web.
About Detangl
Detangl (www.detangl.com) is a daily deal aggregator (10,000 deals across 600 websites), like the Kayak+ of daily deals, which gives personalized recommendations on local deals to its users while ensuring that they are educated about the quality of the business offering the deal. Detangl sources deals from many daily deal websites like GroupOn, Living Social, Google Offers, BuyWithMe, TravelZoo. It is built on the premise that cost alone should not determine a deal for an individual, other factors are equally important - quality of the business, user preferences to name a few.

March 08 2012 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Detangl

Shoppers can check out Detangl's personalized deals, based on reviews and recommendations from family, friends and the web.
About Detangl
Detangl (www.detangl.com) is a daily deal aggregator (10,000 deals across 600 websites), like the Kayak+ of daily deals, which gives personalized recommendations on local deals to its users while ensuring that they are educated about the quality of the business offering the deal. Detangl sources deals from many daily deal websites like GroupOn, Living Social, Google Offers, BuyWithMe, TravelZoo. It is built on the premise that cost alone should not determine a deal for an individual, other factors are equally important - quality of the business, user preferences to name a few.

March 08 2012 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Detangl

Shoppers can check out Detangl's personalized deals, based on reviews and recommendations from family, friends and the web.

About Detangl

Detangl (www.detangl.com) is a daily deal aggregator (10,000 deals across 600 websites), like the Kayak+ of daily deals, which gives personalized recommendations on local deals to its users while ensuring that they are educated about the quality of the business offering the deal. Detangl sources deals from many daily deal websites like GroupOn, Living Social, Google Offers, BuyWithMe, TravelZoo. It is built on the premise that cost alone should not determine a deal for an individual, other factors are equally important - quality of the business, user preferences to name a few.

March 08 2012 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply