Social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, plus many others have impacted the retail/merchandising industry immensely as they are very popular is today’s society. By 2014, 53% of total retail sales (online and offline) will be affected by the Web, as consumers increasingly use the Internet to research products before purchasing. (Forrester, March 2010). People are constantly staying connected and communicating through technology. Many companies find it much easier to advertise through online sources, as most of it is free. For example, if someone pins an outfit from urbanoutfitters.com on Pinterest, millions of consumers are going to check it out. Regardless if they buy that exact outfit, they are more likely to browse around the website and spend money. I am guilty of doing this as I have a huge online shipping addiction. I am constantly on pinterest looking for new style ideas and new clothing websites to browse. Companies and even boutiques advertise for free through facebook and twitter as they can make their own pages, which are constantly being updated. Many retail and merchandising companies sales have boomed and they have the social networking services to thank. Over the years we are seeing more and more stores that are online only. I personally like shopping online better than going to the store as I think they have more unique products. When I order my clothes online, I don’t see everyone and their mom wearing the same items, which is nice. “76 percent of the US retailers said user-generated content would have a greater impact on their spending habits” (Clark). This doesn’t surprise me especially because I am part of that 76 percent! Another nice thing I like about online shopping is that you can see the products reviews. It seems like a lot of other people agree because according to Channel Advisor, 83% of all holiday shoppers are influenced by customer reviews. This number may be higher around the holidays as it is hard to buy a gift for someone else so it’s nice to get others opinions. All in all, I think it’s safe to say that social networking services have a positive effect on the retail/ merchandising industry as I think it will only keep progressing.