Four ways social media is reshaping shopping

type - big idea
Big Idea
sector - media & technology
sector - youth
Social networks and gaming environments are opening up as shopping platforms, prompting retailers to take their strategies into new, interactive territory

Virtual festivals

This year, mobile-first video shopping platform NTWRK launched Transfer, a two-day virtual festival that combined online commerce with entertainment. The event featured over 30 retailers and brands, as well as DJ sets from notable musicians. It also hosted TikTok’s first-ever live shoppable show, which applied the hype and episodic content synonymous with NTWRK to the reach and interactivity of TikTok.

As Moksha Fitzgibbons, president of NTWRK, explains: 'We think taking our NTWRK approach of live daily content with shoppable experiences in them to platforms like TikTok could be a major win for the consumer, and for the talent or the artist that’s involved in creating a product. It’s a whole new engagement and revenue opportunity for them.'

Gaming the wardrobe

When Animal Crossing: New Horizons was launched in March 2020, it reportedly set the record for most digital units of a game sold in a month, totalling an estimated 5m copies. As a game where you create and customise a home on an island and can visit others doing the same it is, by design, a social game, encouraging interaction and engagement between players.

Recently, luxury retailer Net-a-Porter created its own luxury island within the game, prompting communication and interaction with a brand in ways that were previously unavailable. The island invites players to explore a series of virtual attractions inspired by the physical Net-a-Porter headquarters in London, such as a photography studio and an editorial room. The game offers style-conscious participants a new form of digital escapism, with players able to fit themselves out in virtual looks from an exclusive capsule collection designed by Isabel Marant.

Published by:

1 March 2021

Author: Josh Walker and Rumi Josephs

Image: The Yes, US


Net-a-Porter and Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Social shopping

Launched to enable users to shop together on major fashion retail sites, Squadded is a Google Chrome extension that applies the social element of group shopping trips to a digital setting. For both brands and consumers, the result is a social shopping experience that replicates the communication and relaxed atmosphere of buying products with friends.

‘Most brands are trying to create a community and be socially present, whether it’s on Facebook and Instagram or on TikTok,’ Elysa Kahn, co-founder of Squadded, tells LS:N Global. ‘But the problem is that they have to manage this community that is separated and fragmented. Our goal is to centralise the community and give brands the possibility of using their website as their main asset.’

Algorithmic apps

Described as ‘a new way to shop, designed for you and you only’, The Yes is an AI-powered shopping platform and virtual department store that works directly with fashion brands to deliver a customised and curated shopping experience. The platform seeks to be the department store of the future, presenting recommendations in the same way that Spotify or Netflix would. Users answer yes or no to a series of questions about their style and personal preferences and, naturally, the app gets smarter the more a consumer uses it.

‘Our goal is to centralise [social media communities] and give brands the possibility of using their website as their main asset’
Elysa Kahn, co-founder, Squadded

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