Social shopping is an e-commerce methodology in which the shopping experience is shared with a social network of friends and contacts. Social shopping impacts an individual’s buying process by using social media networks to share, recommend, suggest and comment on products or services. The idea behind social shopping is that individuals are influenced by their friends purchases and recommendations.
Social shopping primarily combines e-commerce or online shopping with social media networking technologies to augment users' real-life shopping experiences. Generally, social shopping has different forms that vary between vendors. For example, a social shopping website might encourage users to buy in groups in order to take advantage of bulk discounts. Or, a product recommendation website might track and display a friend's purchase. Finally, there are even niche shopping communities and C2C marketplaces that allow users to buy things directly from friends or other consumers. Social shopping also enables a user to gain recommendations about what to purchase from peers, which can greatly influence purchasing decisions.