Today's social shopping sites are the online equivalent of old-fashioned swap meets and flea markets. They bring thousands of buyers and sellers together in a social environment where shoppers can rely on friends to help them shop and connect with merchants.
These social marketplaces are also channels through which smaller merchants can get products discovered outside their own ecommerce websites.
Here is a list of eight social shopping sites worth checking out.
Etsy may be the leader of the social marketplace movement. It provides very small businesses with the ability to sell handmade and vintage products to consumers in bazaar-style fashion.
From an ecommerce perspective, Etsy makes it possible for sellers to move from hobbyist status to full-time businesses. And, for buyers interested in handcrafted or vintage items, it makes the job of product discovery much simpler. Socially, the site functions as an online community where buyers and sellers can come together to discuss the products they love.
Envato Marketplaces allow anyone to buy or sell digital goods like WordPress themes, background music, Adobe After Effects project files and Flash templates. The marketplaces have more than 500,000 users, authors and buyers. New files are added daily.
Threadflip is an Etsy-like social marketplace designed to let women sell the items they no longer wear, or share their own designs. Customers use credits to shop the closets of favorite designers, collectors, and friends, or cash out on products they have sold.
Svpply is a consumer-driven online community where registered users share products with other members. They can use the site to keep track of products they want to purchase at a later time, or to discover products they didn’t know existed.
The site's members reference products from 75,000 stores, and over one million products are included in Svpply's database. Merchants can participate by adding a Svpply button to product pages on their websites to encourage members to share them within the community.