The way I shop today is completely different from my shopping experience during my teenage years. I used to walk the malls for hours every Saturday. I would window shop while swinging shopping bags each containing a garment or two. Today, the mall is a distant memory. I haven’t held a shopping bag in years.
Times have changed, but I’m not just referring to the shift from brick and mortar to online locations. This is about the shift to social media. Here’s what I mean.
Facebook Group Shopping
My town and the neighboring towns have Facebook groups for residents to buy, sell or trade items. From campers to kids clothes, couches to purses, the group is updated non-stop with items. It’s a great way to keep items local, and out of landfills. It’s like Craig’s List limited to a town-wide radius, which makes selling bulky items a breeze.
This is a social environment for neighbors to connect. It’s about leveraging the people around you to find and sell items for major discounts (even free) without having to travel. It’s a local and social way to shop.
Whenever I need a specific item (typically clothing, accessories or home decor), I search Pinterest first. I was all about rompers this summer, and Pinterest had tons of adorable options to peruse. Once I found the romper of my dreams, I clicked through to the website to get more details and eventually buy the item. Once I bought it, I pinned it, too.
Pinterest aggregates innovative, unique and fun ideas into one, social space. I use it to plan, and it helps organize my thoughts and ideas before making a purchase.
Before Pinterest, I would search catalogs, magazines, and websites for ideas. I’d print or rip out pages and put them in binders. This brings that entire experience online and makes it social.
I recently helped plan a baby shower and it turned out that nearly all of the items for the event were purchased through Etsy. We had a specific vintage car theme, and with Etsy, we were able to connect and work with specific designers that had the look we wanted. From the invitations to the decor to the gifts, Etsy was a great way to make the event cohesive, unique and elegant.
Before Etsy, I did the typical iParty or Oriental Trading Post shopping experience. Etsy is more specific and catered to your needs since you work with a designer directly. Even better, it was not much more than a trip to iParty.
How has social media changed your online shopping experience?