Saturday, December 31, 2011

Social Shopping Predictions for 2012

Social applications are still exploding in every corner of business and the consumer space. There are dozens if not hundreds of mobile apps that will help you eat better, meet people and just about anything else you can think of. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare are leading the charge and giving consumers the communication vehicle to connect and share and even in some case learn something or benefit financially.

Social apps geared specially toward shopping are also quite plentiful. You can find apps to help you with everything from finding deals, comparing prices and hunting down coupons. But if you look at the majority of the apps out there, non really bring a true social shopping capability to the table in the sense that they are letting users learn and share with each other when it comes to shopping. What does that mean? It means non of the apps out there are the really equivalent of say Twitter or Facebook when it comes to connecting people and business in an open communication sense. Sure, there are apps that let you find deals and that will push coupons and offers from nearby businesses, but these are all closed ecosystems where it is a one way stream from the network or business to the social end user. But non are truly social in the sense that they are based on a social community dynamic to discover and share the best products and prices nearby. The major social players have all tried to dip their toe into local shopping by letting consumers connect with businesses but they are typically a one way street where the business is driving the interaction by presenting users with deals or offers. The social end user is more of a passive observer and at the mercy of what is presented to them. There is essentially no organic information being created by the social community.

What is fundamentally missing is the ability to empower shoppers to work together and function as a social community that can share and communicate what is going on in their local area when it comes to products and deals nearby. It is fine to receive Groupon type deals and offers from a local business, but you want this complimented with deals users are also discovering and sharing with each other. The consumer needs to be empowered to be an active contributing member in the shopping experience and not just passively sitting by getting trinkets thrown at them when they scan something or make a post. What is needed is a truly vibrant social shopping community that is on equal footing with local businesses when it comes to offering, discovering and sharing deals.

Enter into the picture OfferDrop. Our goal at OfferDrop is to make a platform that will empower consumers along with local businesses to reach each other using the ever evolving social medium. We predict 2012 will be the year when social shopping truly becomes socially driven. We will do all we can at OfferDrop to empower the consumer and empower local businesses to connect and share on an open platform and in an integrated fashion with the other popular social apps we all love to use every day.

Stay tuned for exciting things from OfferDrop in 2012. Shopping just got social and fun!