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BizReport : Research archives : June 06, 2007

Online business not geared towards the social shopper

Social shoppers need a certain type of shopping environment and, according to a recent study by Gartner, current e-commerce sites aren’t providing the right conditions.

by Helen Leggatt

There are two sorts of online shoppers according to Gartner, reports The @lpha Marketer. There’s the social shopper and the solo shopper.

The solo shopper knows what they want and where to get it. They want simple, efficient and fast transactions for a quick “in and out” experience. The solo shopper is well served online as most businesses tend to focus on efficiency and speed.

Social shoppers crave a shopping “experience”. They like to be able to form emotional connections with other shoppers and brands via blogs, forums, reviews and other shared content. As well as researching products in some depth, the social shopper is also prone to impulse buys as a result of their community interactions.

While women tend to be social shoppers, and men solo shoppers, some people can exhibit both traits depending on the type of product being purchased.

The key is to provide a balanced environment, where products can be discussed and deliberated but where the community aspect isn’t detracting from the buying process, concludes the report. Websites such as and attract both solo and social shoppers by providing the means for a solo shopper to make rational decisions and for social shoppers to compare, contrast and debate.

Tags: Gartner, online shopping, social shopper, solo shopper

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