For the better part of the last century, women have dominated shopping. Whether online, or via brick and mortar stores, women are famous for loving to shop. Despite this, men are now overtaking them in spending, often surpassing women by as much as 25% per purchase on the internet. These numbers are not because men are shopping more often, but because they are making larger, more expensive purchases each time they buy. This surprising demographic has given rise to new, male-targeted advertisement campaigns, as well as the nearly unheard of male oriented shopping site, which is now combining perfectly with new content ecommerce solutions that are almost certain to make social more profitable for both sellers and the sites themselves.
Content Sites Turning Ecommerce
Part of the shift in the shopping demographic has been the steady lean towards social and content sites as a means of researching and finding products to buy. Content sites including Facebook, Pinterest, and millions of blogs provide shoppers with a wide range of information that they then use to make a purchase, and for most of those sites, integrating ecommerce to directly make sales is a logical next step. While major social sites like Pinterest, Myspace, and even Facebook are already making sales indirectly, many of them are talking about directly integrating stores and shopping interfaces. Some, like Facebook have already brought elements of this in with e-gift cards and flowers or chocolates that can be purchased to send as last minute presents. Others, like Tapiture, which has been online since 2012, integrates Pinterest like content functions with a fully working e-commerce setup geared towards men, so that users can actually buy items that they find interesting on the site. Pinterest competitors, Fancy, are also integrating this type of marketplace, so that instead of simply uploading a photo or ‘pinning’ the photo, the user can also include a price so that interested parties can buy it right on the site. Even MySpace, which is largely ignored by most social advertisers, has integrated ecommerce in the form of their Music Marketplace, where you can shop for songs from artists on the site.
What It Means for Businesses
Any business with products to sell should already be on social. Whether using Pinterest in the hopes of creating product awareness, or using Facebook and Twitter to create brand and image awareness, social sites can already greatly benefit most businesses. Now, with ecommerce and social integration, those same businesses can essentially increase profits by making their products or services easier to buy, because the interested party won’t have to leave their social site in order to make the purchase. This means changing strategies away from getting subscribers to click on links to getting subscribers to make a purchase. While a small change, it is an important one, as it means encouraging direct sales.
The rising demographic of male buyers should also be considered. For example, Tapiture and Fancy both have a largely male demographic, with nearly 100% on Tapiture and some 60% on Fancy, both of which are already actively making. In fact, Fancy is already making more than $200,000 in sales per week, while Tapiture has not yet disclosed their revenue so far, but is definitely doing something.
At the end of the day, just make sure your content is optimized for your demographic so that you make sales and shares. Even if the site hasn’t integrated shopping, you make shared products available for purchase, by including a relevant link. Social is becoming an integral part of ecommerce, and you should be prepared.