Social Commerce Sites Now A Billion Dollar Industry

Sites like Groupon and Living Social seem to be losing the online shopping war as the “go to sites” for social commerce, with many other sites now finding ways to cash into the “daily deal” idea a bit more strategically.

The growing trend for online shoppers today is browsing different retailers through just one social commerce website. These sites offer daily deals on specialty products from a list of different retailers. Whether it’s home décor, baby clothing or hunting and fishing gear, internet shoppers like deep discounts on the more unique items they can’t find in their nearby department store.

It started with sites like Zulily, where dozens of different deals on maternity and baby clothes change on a daily basis. The company is now in its 3rd year of business and is already estimated to be worth $1 billion. This is an accomplishment the CEO says was rooted in figuring out just how to drive a mass amount of shoppers to the site as fast as possible.

“Technology is an enabler for this business. We have over 10 million people signed up for our e-mail and our goal is to deliver 10 million e-mails in 15 minutes in the morning.  When we talked to the top e-mail providers, they said we can’t do this. We don’t think it can be done. But we have done it, and when you do this, a lot of people come to the site very rapidly.” Zulily CEO Darrel Cavens told Inc.com in January.

And Zulily isn’t alone, sites like Joss & Main offer unique home décor items in a similar format, while others like Wide Open Spaces are using the same idea to attract male shoppers in an attempt to take their share of the $90 billion hunting and fishing industry.

“The hunting and fishing vertical is ripe for disruption, and Wide Open Spaces is emerging as a leader in this space by leveraging their experience in commerce, social, mobile, and technology to deliver a social commerce experience to a market that was hungry for change,” said Mark Hasebroock, a Managing Partner at Dundee Venture Capital.

As this trend continues to grow, one thing is for certain; shoppers are making it clear what type of environment they want to shop in online, and that includes “one stop shopping” with lots of variety at deeply discounted prices.

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Amy Post

Amy is a former news reporter who currently works in marketing for a large technical college. In her spare time she enjoys writing, running and spending time with family and friends.

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