No, seriously, Squad Shopping offers lessons on the social nature of buying things
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from the blog of Aptos.
Squad shopping — basically the use of video and/or screen-sharing technology to shop online with friends and family — may represent far more than a pandemic-fueled phenomenon targeting young women longing for social shopping connections.
The practice briefly made headlines when Squadded Shopping Party launched in May 2020 and again when Verishop followed suit with its own version.
The retailer industry, however, isn’t paying all that much attention to the concept. Early adopters of Squadded include Sephora France, Goddiva in the UK and Mia Jewelry in India, among others.
These brands have strong appeal with younger women, who coincidentally have never really known life without FaceTime. They are far more comfortable with video calls than they are with audio calls and their phones are always at hand.
Moreover, studies regularly show reviews drive conversions and trusted reviews drive exponentially more conversions. And what is squad shopping if not an opportunity to gather trusted reviews from friends — on items that are already in their shopping cart? Clearly, the immediacy and contextual relevance inherent in squad shopping parties combine to form a powerful conversion elixir.
Yet the key lesson to take from the squad shopping trend isn’t that it is about to hit the mainstream, but rather that it’s a reminder of the value of shopping as a social activity. For centuries, shopping together has provided us the opportunity to make connections, seek validation for our purchases and create memories with friends.
Squad shopping, whether it ultimately thrives or fades, is merely an embodiment of all these things. So are smart mirrors in fitting rooms when they help us solicit feedback from friends and in-store workshops that bring people together to engage with products and each other.
Regardless of the medium, it’s that trusted feedback, that validation and those communal experiences that really matter. Because those experiences significantly impact conversions.
Squad shopping teaches us that we have to constantly look for new and creative ways to make it easy for our customers to shop together, and to do so in ways that deliver contextual relevance and immediacy.
When we facilitate shopping together, we facilitate buying together. And that’s serious business.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the potential of squad shopping and online shopping with others overall? Are the benefits of shopping with others as great if done online as they are in-store?