Every company wants to be social now and the concept of social enterprise, though not understood by many, is most spoken of these days. A social enterprise by definition is an enterprise that engage in new ways with its employees, customers and all the other stake holders. It builds its customers’ social profiles, enables enhanced conversation with its stake holders, monitors and analyses what people are saying and devise strategies to make use of that data. Well, this post is not about social enterprise, so let me stop here.

Instead, in this article I want to focus on how social media is aiding the psyche of the online shopper and how it is a becoming a handy tool for online retailers. Here are some rule that we have in real life and try to replicate in the virtual world. Social media aids us in doing that.

Consistency: We like to stay consistent. When we are faced with inconsistency we try to follow our past beliefs and behaviors. So purchases that have been made by us in the past reinforce our future shopping patterns. Even if expensive, 62% of online shoppers are brand loyal.

Scarcity: It is in our instincts to assign greater value to the products if we think they will be lesser available in near future. This is due to the fear of a potential loss that we might have to face. So we like to become members of social groups to receive exclusive deals. In a study 77% of the people confirmed that they like to get exclusive offers that they can redeem via Facebook.

Social Proof: When uncertain we look at what others are doing to resolve our personal insecurities. We ask for advice from friends and family before taking a purchase decision.  As per the study, 81% of the consumers have received advice from friends and family relating to a product purchase through a social networking site.

Reciprocity: We have an innate desire to repay favors. We do this to maintain social fairness even if those favors were invited or not.  We like to share updates and exclusive deals that we receive with people in our network. As per the study, every month 25,000,000,000 pieces of content are shared on Facebook.

In essence, I would like to conclude this article by saying that social media is helping shoppers make savvy purchases and retailers by embellishing their ability to listen to and implement changes in order to provide a tailored shopping experience.

Mirk

Sources (Socialcommercetoday.com, Squeakywheelmedia.com, interbranddesignforum.com)

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