Cisco Blogs

Shop ‘Til You Drop: Either from Exhaustion or Poor Connectivity

June 8, 2010 - 20 Comments

I’m a shopper. I’ll admit it. I love the thrill of the hunt and the eventual bagging of a fun or exotic item that plays to my fashion sense or inner tech geek. So, as someone who straddles the worlds of technology and retail, I can’t help noticing the spate of articles and information lately on how interlinked social media and shopping are becoming. And how the borderless experience I’ve talked about in the past several months is becoming more and more critical for businesses to enable.

This week, a New York Times article reported comScore’s latest overview of the online retail economy. According to the report, the more time users spend at social media sites, the more money they spend online. For instance, heavy users of one of the most popular social media sites, Facebook, spend an average of $67 versus “light” network users who spend $50 on average, or non-users of the network who only spend an average of $27 online.

Still another study released this week by the e-tailing group and PowerReviews identified three key trends around social media:
1. Consumers trust the basic social media tools
2. Consumers seek a variety of voices; and
3. Facebook is the social media platform with the greatest potential

But before we blindly accept that third trend, consider that a whole new kind of social media sites are springing up specifically for fellow shopaholics like myself—they’re called social shopping sites. Swipely and Blippy are two such sites that allow members to share purchases online. So, you’re able to see what people buy, and sometimes where from and how much they paid. Not only does this give more research power to the people, but it’s also a forum for people to tell stories around their purchases.  Something that could be a good thing or a bad thing for retailers, depending on how well they manage their customers’ experiences.

All of this points to the need for organizations to move to a borderless network architecture—not only does this allow customers, employees, and partners to engage in deeper levels of intimacy regardless of location or device when they are most inclined to interact, but it also allows them to offer the type of differentiated services that are likely to separate them from their competitors.

More about Borderless Networks.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. I do not think that Facebook will do this. Its an opportunity for us to keep close with the users of the websites!

  2. Hi Marie,interesting, although I consider myself to be a light user of facebook but spend quite alot more online than those averages. Income has got to play a bigger factor.Thanks for share this post.

  3. Interesting article and data.These considerations give us another prospective to see the social network. They’re not only a network of people that can discuss about products, but these people are best spender.A perfect target, but is important that merchant and brand give contents to discussion and not only link and message spam 🙂

  4. Nearly everyone I know uses Facebook, they are on it at work, they are on it at home, it’s a very addictive platform. I think it’s ability to sell products is that it indirectly absorbs trust by having all your friends on there. I personally do not buy things from Facebook through the ads they have listed there but I would probably buy something a friend suggested.

  5. Blippy, Yelp, and others even the iPhone application. However, all you can eat the AT & T Wireless has recently passed away, many consumers may think twice about doing a web-based research, but this article to play out, this may be the cream of the crop due to various social sites from the bad news will tend to strengthen the decision to buy top players. Why not offer customers outstanding service to remind customers of the singage free WiFi? Allow customers to log in and view your five-star service and competitive prices. Even better WiFi service posted on the store’s actual work and works well. Ah … sounds like a favor CleanAIR technical sense, we continue to enhance wireless connectivity problems of the microwave oven and fluorescent lamps. In other parts of the space known as Cisco Maserati, I do not know the WiFi Nordstrom may be a better analogy?

  6. Word of mouth publicity is like a catalyst for shopholics. The moment they see or hear something new in the market, the word spreads like wild fire. Social Media Sites have added a new dimension in the line of publicity. No doubts that Swipely and Blippy have become so popular.

  7. Me personally, I do a lot of online shopping as it is more convenient (mostly from the stores direct). I’ve never purchased from Facebook, however, but if these stats are true I would love to be an advertiser on there.

  8. Interestingly recent changes by AT&T (sole network provider in the US of one of the most socially enabled smartphones on the market, the iPhone) have made free customer WiFi for retail customers a higher priority. The new mobile and social web help empower the consumer, good news for the type of top notch companies that benefit from transparency. Blippy, Yelp and others even have iPhone apps. However, with the recent death of All You Can Eat wireless at AT&T, many consumers may think twice about doing web-based research while out and about, which for the cream of the crop is probably bad news as the various social web sites would all tend to reinforce purchase decisions from top-notch players. That being the case, why not roll out free WiFi for customers with prominant singage alerting shoppers to this service? Let the customer login and see your 5 star service and competitive pricing. Even better when the WiFi service posted in the store actually works and works well. Hmmm…sounds like a good argument in favor of CleanAir technology, keep those microwave ovens and glitchy fluorescent lights from stepping on WiFi connections. Elsewhere someone called Cisco the Maserati of the space, I wonder if the Nordstrom of WiFi might be a better analogy?

  9. I usually drop before I even start shopping. Have never purchased a thing on the internet apart from booking flights.

  10. Don`t you think Facebook will ‘steal’ all users from these sites when they decide to copy it?…but for now it might be interesting for companies to join these kind of websites.

  11. Good post buddy.Facebook is a good source for promoting products and it have a great potential. The borderless network plays an important role in shopping online or social media.I agree with you for the point that the more time the people spent on social websites, the more they shop.

  12. i agree that shopping is fun but it can cost you lot of money so be steady to use your pocket budget.

  13. Haha great article marie. It is amazing to me that consumers trust social media so easily, yet can be so skeptical of others. What makes you think that social sites aren’t businesses just like the rest, they need to make a profit.

  14. In my opinion social networks are great source for product information before acquisition, and I have to agree that they can incentive consumption by presenting other related products.Thanks for indication of these social shopping sites.

  15. Agreed, so much time is spent on line. Most of which is the small excerpts read from work by workers who bookmark for later buying. Great post!

  16. Interesting, although I consider myself to be a light user of facebook but spend quite alot more online than those averages. Income has got to play a bigger factor.

  17. When it came to commercial power, I had the impression that twitter might have been a more powerful tool. I thought of Dell being a great example, with millions of sales made directly through twitter. However, I must admit that sine the advent of the internet, apart from booking a flight or train ticket online, I have never ever used the internet to buy something, not by fear, but more for the love of the old human contact that is being lost with the emergence of social medias.

  18. The only thing is it could correlation and not causation thats in play here. The more a person is on Facebook, could mean that the person is on the internet anyway and happens to be logged in or has an open tab of Facebook.

  19. The Internet is a world without borders and Facebook one of the most popular site now, I also like this site and very useful for us to hang out with friends around the world and facebook also provide online shopping services through existing ads, and enables us to always online shopping

  20. Swipely seems like it would be a great concept but how safe is it. It works with credit cards and online purchases. Seems like this would be a play ground for identity thieves.