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Virtual Shopping: Tech and Trends

Revolution Digital examines social shopping, both as a platform trend, and as a possible future niche for brands to uniquely market online.

Revolution Digital  |  July 13, 2021
Virtual Shopping: Tech and Trends

Social shopping has gone from novelty to intuitive practice over the past year, with the launch of Facebook’s Live Shopping Fridays, and is expected to continue its rapid growth through 2021 and beyond. Shopping behavior has been altered permanently, with over 40% of consumers currently buying things online that they used to buy in stores. Social commerce, or a native shopping experience on a social platform, or a platform built around social shopping, is one of the areas of quickest growth and technical advancement. In this blog, Revolution Digital will be exploring ways that platforms are evolving how we shop, focusing on both current trends and the way we, as an agency, expect social shopping to evolve in the future.

First, at the end of 2020, TikTok partnered with Shopify, allowing Shopify merchants to run Tiktok campaigns and optimizations directly in the Shopify platform. You can see examples of campaigns set up on TikTok here. The partnership opens up smaller retailers to access TikTok’s younger demographic. In 2021, the feature rolled out internationally and continues to expand. The press release from late 2020 also showcases how native, sharable ads created by Shopify merchants can carve out a niche in the platform. In the future, more products have the opportunity to “go viral” – especially those created and brought to life by smaller/mid-level merchants and distributors. The expected behavior already taking hold is the virality of certain products, particularly in the beauty/self-care space, with listicles going up throughout the year of TikTok viral products retailers are having a hard time keeping in stock.

Other apps and technologies are attempting to re-create the group shopping experience that big box brick-and-mortar stores offer. Wormhole is an app that uses avatars and alert features to create a brand new social shopping experience – the app seeks to recreate the feeling/experience of being in a store with your friends, with strangers, in an all-digital landscape. Whether this will catch on is still to be determined, but with seed funding and the gamification of shopping that the platform offers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it take off.

Similar to Wormhole, The Yes seeks to recreate the personalization of online shopping at the intersection of the big-box experience. It continues the gamification of online shopping to learn user preferences, and then the app goes to work serving up a stream of relevant products. The app is marketing itself as the future of shopping, and with funding and 58% of consumers anticipating they’ll spend more time online shopping even after the end of the pandemic, the possibilities are vast.

At Revolution Digital, we’re always examining advancements in social platforms, as well as emerging trends in user behavior. Coupling that with a best-in-class knowledge of emerging technology and backed up with strategy, we are uniquely prepared for the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our website at RevolutionDigital.com, or reach out to us online or at newbusiness@rev-d.com.

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