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Social shopping sites ringing up sales

Amazon figured out social shopping and e-comm - social e-commerce - a long time ago. They made it easy for consumers (aka prosumers) to make recommendations, write reviews and then share the information with other users. Although, I am not surprised that these ideas failed to catch on with most businesses. Interestingly, most businesses today are missing out on web 2.0 too.

Take a look around the net. Most business and e-comm sites fail on customer experience. They have old, static, out-dated product information with few methods of finding what you want or sharing what you find.

Anyway, below is a link to updated information about social shopping consumers and social software tools. "The Growing Influence of Online Social Shoppers" is from eMarketer.

"Now with social shopping sites, product blogs and online ratings and reviews consumers have the means to communicate their opinions about products and companies to tens of thousands of other consumers like themselves at a critical point in the sales cycle - the beginning.

While blogs and customer ratings and reviews have long been a familiar part of the Internet commercial landscape, says Jeff Grau, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the new report, Consumer Interactions: Social Shopping, Blogs and Reviews, over the past two years social shopping sites have emerged as another way for customers to share product experiences and opinions."

Most of these web 2.0 and social software applications are becoming critical to businesses.

What's your experience? Who do you pay attention to for purchasing information? How do you find stuff on the long-tail? What other social commerce applications or sites are you familiar with?