Shopping in a Swarm

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Are you getting your Groupon? Are you a Wagjagger? How about Living Social? Maybe you prefer something a little more highbrow like HauteLook, Beyond The Rack or Homesav?

2010 saw the launch of a myriad of group shopping services, offering customers significant discounts from bulk volumes, and this phenomenon is likely just the tip of the iceberg. Once these *retail facilitators* manage to tie in friend recommendations, the sky is the limit.Social media will become the spearhead in driving retail sales.

Shwowp is already starting to marry shopping history with social media in its ability to share your shopping history with your friends. Now it just needs to integrate a bit better with established social media networks, allow for a bit more interaction and offer an easy transition right to vendors, so you too can pick up the jeans your bff is raving about.

Amazon led the way with customer feedback. Now shopping commentary and product references, coupled with friend recommendations, are tablestakes for the majority of on-line retail sites. Nothing kills a product faster than 20 bad product reviews. :-( Reviews will soon drive the product catalog of on-line retailers. Last month I was in the market for a new coffee maker. I checked the feedback on every maker on the Canadian Tire website, and there wasn’t a single product that had glowing customer reviews. Skipping over to Amazon, they carried coffee makers with positive customer feedback. Goodbye Canadian Tire, hello Amazon.

I’m ready to take the retail world by storm, with my friend swarm. Hello 2011!