Seeing The Tide Of Change Around Social Shopping

If you’re anything like me, you’re a multitasking wizard at work and at home. When it comes to making sure your family eats and has shoes on their feet, you’ve got to be efficient, smart and frugal. Whether you’re looking at recipes, finding the best price on shoes, ordering clothes, scheduling a trip or just checking for deals there isn’t anything that isn’t one click away.

As a result, I spend quite a bit of time and money on @Zulily; call it retail therapy or planning ahead, I’ve got Zulily Unlimited (free shipping) and I use it… frequently.

Imagine my surprise when I received my first Facebook (FB) message from a Company regarding an order. It was Zulily and they sent me a FB message alerting me that my item had shipped, noting the day, time and items included.

Zulily 1

While some consumers might find this creepy or worry about their privacy, I thought wow, that’s fantastic for a number of reasons. First, that is one less email I have to check, it came to me where I am most of the time. Second, if they’ve found me on FB, that might mean the ads they present will be better targeted based on my purchase history. Finally, as an IMC student, any time a company tries something new, I want to give them a big old pat on the back. After all, change is hard.

So last week I was exercising my plastic and got another notification, this time confirming my order:

Zulily 2

I love that it starts with thank you and keeps a casual tone and the fact that I can message them back makes it that much more helpful.

The other two developments in the shopping world are Pinterest buyable “pins” and Instagram “Shop Now.”

Later this month, @Pinterest will launch pins that allow you to buy the item, using Apple Pay or a credit card. The pins will feature updated pricing and you can swipe to see different colors. You’ll know it’s the new pin because it will feature a blue button in the top right corner. Wired calls it “Pinterest Is Finally Going to Let us Buy the Things We Like”. I really hope some of the pre-packaged food makers are listening… hint hint @blueapron@plated and @relishrelish, how amazing to pin a great dish and order it at the same time. Here’s to hoping they have blue buttons come July!

Instagram also launched something similar with “Shop Now” buttons and the ability to link outside the app. Leveraging Facebook targeting, don’t forget Facebook bought them for a cool $1 Billion back in 2012. Instagram believes they are delivering what users want with the added ability to shop.

Here are just a few examples featured in the AdWeek story:


I love shoes and try to use my Instagram account to showcase that love affair. I may have a problem if all of the shoe companies suddenly feature “Shop Now” buttons.

What changes have you seen in the social shopping space?


1 Comment

  1. Great article Whitney!

    I think the elements of social shopping is spot on with Pinterest!! It will be very interesting to see how the Instagram integration impacts the purchase process! If someone like Macy’s did their “discount” rack items on IG, that could play very well.

    The changes I have seen.. retailers embracing mobile users more and more.


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