We as consumers put value in the opinions of others. The most common thing to do today while shopping is to read reviews written by other consumers. It is here where social marketplaces make changes to the future of online shopping.
Social marketplaces allow for consumer to consumer and consumer to seller communication. These new types of online retailers, like Etsy, Airbnb and Kickstarter, build communities around those involved in the buying and selling process. Facebook has even realized the trend by its decision to add a buy button.
Make new friends
To see the power behind this new form of retail look at the Veronica Mars movie funded through Kickstarter. Rob Thomas, the director and creator, saw a friend raise $10,000 to finish recording a record. Thomas initially wanted to raise $2 million, fans gave $5.7 million for his project. Due to the fans dedication the film was produces and released last March.
Or look to Etsy which focuses on peer-to-peer e-commerce. On the homepage each week is a new shop owner talking about what inspired them to follow their passion and how they got started. I myself used Etsy to find my mom’s Christmas gift two years ago. I found a jewelry designer and through e-mails designed two pairs of one of a kind earrings for her.
Following the new model
This ability to share passions, creativity and personalities are what make social marketplaces grand and a growing environments. They are also good businesses, for they follow the new sales model of combining social networks, education and engagement leading to social sales. This new model has even led to the creation of social marketplaces with sole focuses like FitMoo, which tailors to fitness apparel buyers. Thus making social marketplaces the tailored e-commerce of the future.