Smartphones have made shoppers smarter, and social media has made shopping more fun. You can snap and send pictures of the greatest deals to your friends, or upload them to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can check in with Foursquare, and tell your friends where you’re shopping. And you can pin to boards on Pinterest, letting Santa know exactly what you want for Christmas.
This holiday season, give thanks for the gift of shopping efficiency. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two “holidays” that are certainly thankful for this shopping advantage. According to the National Retailer Federation, a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 226 million last year. The Los Angeles Times reported that Black Friday Internet spending topped $1 billion.
It is evident that online shopping becomes more and more popular each year, and why not? You can skip the lines and receive great deals during the holiday shopping season. Last year, Cyber Monday sales totaled $1.3 billion, and this year, ComScore predicted that they could increase that total to $1.5 billion. Thanks to the internet and smartphones, shopping is completed on lunch breaks, at the grocery store, or while relaxing on the sofa.
Retailers recognize and utilize the advantage that social media can give to their merchandise and companies. They use social media as a way to connect and engage with customers. Retailers are even rewarding customers with deals and freebies if customers “check in” to their store on Foursquare, or share their merchandise through Facebook or Twitter.
Five best ways to take advantage of shopping with social media:
1. Search and Research- Now more than ever, shoppers can receive an amazing amount of information by searching the web. Shoppers are saving even more time by following shopping experts. Following these experts lets you know where the great deals are or what items are sold out at the stores you were about to visit. Retailers are even posting their lay-away and return policies online.
2. Sharing is Caring- Sharing your shopping experience, good or bad, through social media helps out your entire network of friends. Want to talk about your fabulous finds? Or how annoyed you are with the holiday crowds? Share it! Your friends will be glad you did.
3. Ask the Experts- Looking for something specific? Ask people on Twitter and Facebook. It’s one of easiest and fastest ways to get answers about what to get your relatives for the holidays or share with others where they can find the best deals on winter boots.
4. Steal the Deals- Companies are offering exclusive deals and freebies for those shoppers who join their social networks, such as “liking” a Facebook page, or check in on Foursquare.
5. Expect the Best- Shoppers can now expect better customer service and quicker responses thanks to social media. Since so many shoppers are sharing their opinions and experiences on the web, retailers are using social media to interact with their customers and connect with them.