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Serving Social Shopping Preferences

Many merchants who are new to the mobile market are all atwitter about today’s Internet social shopping buzz. The industry has coined a term for this trend called “SoLoMo,” or Social, Local, Mobile. This acronym suggests that web consumers are social in their shopping choices, local in their buying preferences, and mobile in their purchasing solutions. But what are some of the more meaningful preferences that can lead to profits?

Well, according to Forrester Research, in terms of social shopping preferences, consumers in late 2009 were drawn to sharing shopping ideas with friends and making buying choices via websites like Twitter and Facebook (253 and 662 million unique visitors, respectively). They also turned to gaming—and buying digital services—in social groups on websites like Zynga (130 million active monthly gamers). Other social shopping consumers began pooling their e-coupons on some of today’s hottest trendsetter websites like Groupon (51 million subscribers).

Of course, there are other meaningful examples of mobile consumer social shopping preferences for niche websites, including sharing music lists (Shazam, Pandora), communication (textPlus, Digg), store locations (foursquare, Whrrl), and, of course, the consumer opinion websites that merchants frequent as well, including those with customer product and service reviews (Yelp, Epinions).

So how do you make money serving mobile consumers’ social shopping preferences? In one example, if you’re a mobile game developer, you can now select PayPal as a payout option when you integrate credits as the virtual currency in your Facebook games. Adding PayPal brings a secure and flexible payout method that makes integrating the virtual currency even easier.

For more information about how to monetize your mobile website or app through social media, see Chapter 10, “Growing Your Mobile Business.”

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