By Marcus Leach

With a looming recession this Christmas and high street retailers starting panic sales over concerns about being left with unsold stock, online shopping is emerging as a growth area.

Shoppers are on the hunt for deals but are increasingly looking online for big discounts and are sharing their best finds with friends and family.

Social shopping is an exciting new trend for this Christmas that involves the use of social networking to share recommendations, share discounts, post reviews and ask for advice on products before purchase.

And in an era when more shoppers favour online stores ahead of the high street, this trend finally provides the social element that has previously been missing in online shopping.

Shopow, a site that empowers online shoppers, taps into this fast growing phenomenon of social shopping and is set to revolutionise the concept in a new way. This free site lets users follow friends and other shoppers, and personalises your search for products, reviews and answers. A Shopow shopper sees friends’ interactions with products, taking trust and transparency to another level.

An industry study has shown that 49% of consumers already give shopping advice to others through social networking sites.

“The peak in online Christmas sales has been brought forward to this week, a whole 21 days earlier than expected," Kevin Flood, CEO of Shopow, said.

"The recession and strong demand from consumers hunting for deals online has lead to an all out price war, with many retailers losing their nerve. There is a huge concern that they will lose out on business to the online retails as they hunt for deals.”

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