Making Shopping Social

eHow Tech Blog

Long gone are the days when you might walk into a department store and be excited to see a big sale.  Given the Internet and how tech-savvy all of the major retail brands have become, it’s easy to find out about markdowns and promotions through store websites, email, Facebook posts and tweets.

Not only are brands fully on board the social bandwagon, but your fellow shoppers are too. There are many ways to use technology to shop smarter, faster and even use the knowledge of the crowd to help you make your purchasing decisions. Here are a few different ways shopping has become the next social phenomenon.

For Price Comparisons. Imagine you’re at an electronics store and are contemplating a new laptop. Hmm, the price seems a little high, but you really don’t want to schlep all over town comparing prices. The good news, with technology on your side, you don’t have to. Apps like Red Laser, ShopSavvy, and Google Shopper let you scan the barcodes and instantly find where your desired item is sold around you (or online) for a better price.

For Sharing Deals. Sure, we’ve all heard of Groupon and Living Social for group buying deals, but there are plenty of others out there that will let you use the crowd to score some great deals. Apps like Saveology (for general consumer items) and Gilt Groupe (for fashionistas) makes group shopping so fun.

For Getting Advice. Sometimes when you’re shopping and just can’t decide on an item, a second opinion is all you need. With apps like Pose and Go Try it On, you can have one instantly! Not sure if something makes your butt look too big? Take a photo from the dressing room and send it out to Go Try it On followers and get instant feedback. That’s social shopping at its best.

For Group Gifting. If you want to give an expensive gift and want to rely on a larger group to help fund the purchase, GiftSimple, a Facebook app, can help do just that. You can register a gift, post it and then start accepting contributions immediately. If gift cards are more your kind of gift, Wrapp lets you give gift cards to major brands directly through Facebook for easy gift giving options.

Using these great social shopping tools, you can make your next purchase a group decision.

Photo credit: Svetlana Braun/iStockphoto

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