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How Social Media Affects the Way We Shop

One affects the other.
How Social Media Affects the Way We Shop
ILLUSTRATOR Gab Gutierrez
One affects the other.

Since the invention of the internet, we have embraced it for every purpose it's served us: convenience, variety, and accessibility. Suddenly, everything and anything is within our reach with just a tap of a button. And with everything at our disposal, our spending behavior has been also directly affected by the internet’s expediency through online shopping.

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But as we continuously evolve, so does the technology we use. The e-commerce arena now makes use of social media to reach potential consumers. Seeing the trend of mobile dependency, retailers and brands have launched apps to make shopping extra easy. In this sense, social media platforms respond by changing their algorithms to incorporate a business segment in their apps. Suddenly, social networking sites (SNS) are now a channel for commerce.

How? One, social media is mobile and pervasive. It is readily available wherever we are. With our time spent most in transit with nothing but our phones to entertain us, shoppers are bound to open their SNS accounts packed with targeted and sponsored advertisements, unavoidable to dismiss easily.

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Two, it is tailored. With the algorithms of Facebook and Instagram that learn our searching habits and online activity, they funnel ads according to which users are most likely to buy from which brands.

And three, the most important one, social media makes shopping become a more personalized experience. The social media landscape becomes true to its essence: a community. We believe and trust the recommendations of our peers, and learn from the digital influencers and our favorite celebrities.

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Knowing this, we now ponder, where is the future of shopping in the realm of social media? As I see it, social media shapes shopping to be less about the company and brands. It becomes more of a personal experience within an open community that thrives on credibility, connection, and inspiration in order to push a successful purchase.

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