The Role of Social Interaction In Online Shopping
Online shopping has come of age with huge sales being recorded everyday. However, the role of social networking in online shopping can never be ignored in today’s world where most social interaction is done on the web. In this piece, I will be discussing these roles so that they would be noted by internet marketers and marketplace sellers.
The power of social interaction can never be overemphasized in ecommerce; hence, it should be given proper attention. Information being shared on the social media is more rampant compared to what the traditional media can offer. As a result of this, online marketers should find ways of exploiting it to their advantage. Consumer behavioral research is not complete without considering its relation to the social media.
Research shows that buyers are in the habit of passing information around about products and services they have encountered and this determines the buying patterns of such products and services. For example, if favorable information is spread about a product, the product tends to enjoy more sales compared to a product having negative information. Some of the information generally spread is about price, packaging, shipping forms, quality of products in relation to price and so on. A lot of people are influenced by their friends to purchase certain products due to the trust they have in these friends.
Furthermore, buyers are more willing to purchase at a higher price from a trusted seller than at a lower price from a seller that is not trusted. This is obvious in online marketplaces where sellers with higher number of feedback are more preferred by buyers to sellers with few or no feedback. Expert says that they are paying the price of trust which I believe is an effect of the trading platform which gives buyers the opportunity to have access to information about sellers from past buyers which is a form of interaction. In fact, some sites allow buyers to send messages to each other in order to allow them share experiences. But does it really mean that the seller with the best feedback will handle an order efficiently? No! But consumers are more comfortable purchasing from those with considerable amount of feedback.
In addition, consumers’ choice can be predicted based on the level of interaction on the trading platform which are in two forms; interaction between buyers and sellers, and interaction among buyers themselves. Sellers with loads of interaction from buyers tend to sell more than those with few interactions. Also, vendors of highly priced products are likely to get more enquiries than those selling cheap products and this does not necessarily mean that they are selling more than others. However, interaction between buyers is the most crucial since it will determine, in most cases, the pattern of purchase.
However, social interaction in online shopping has negatively affected new vendors who will find it difficult to make sales unless they are ready to make sacrifices. One of such sacrifice is to sell at very low prices in order to attract buyers since they are yet to have testimonials on the trading platform.