Consumers do nothing by themselves. The union of constantly-connected devices, social graphs and social signal integration with services like search has made it so nothing, specifically shopping, needs to be done in a silo.
Prior to a purchase consumers can tap the wisdom of their social connections by snapping a photo and soliciting the opinions of options, leaving reviews of products online and even sharing wishlists with family and friends.
Some marketers are taking advantage of the behavior.
Brands Encourage Tapping the Crowd for Wisdom
Dodge recently launched the Dodge Dart Registry, a program that allows friends and family to purchase bits and pieces of a vehicle for newlyweds, much like a gift registry.
Warby Parker sends customers five pairs of glasses to try on at home and then invites them to share photos of themselves on Facebook to get expert advice from the brand and, of course, Facebook friends.
Kukunu offers a service to make planning a vacation with multiple people easy. It helps you plan your entire trip while also allowing co-travelers to help build the itinerary while bringing in Twitter and Facebook connections to make suggestions.
Invite Shopping Collaboration
It’s no surprise that if shoppers can bring in the opinions of others to influence a purchased decision, they will. The most trusted forms of advertising are ‘Recommendations from people I know’ and ‘Consumer opinions posted online.’
Marketers can use this behavior to their advantage by encouraging customers to make other people part of their shopping experiences. It may just close a sale.