HUFFPOST VIDEO
12/13/2013 01:04 pm ET

Is Social Media Changing Shopping For Better Or Worse? (VIDEO)

With the holiday shopping frenzy in full swing, many consumers are staying at home and buying their gifts online.

The options for shopping on the Web have grown exponentially, fueled in part by social media. Data from the Adobe Digital Index indicates that more than one-third of shoppers say that sites like Facebook and Twitter directly influence what they buy. HuffPost Live discussed what works and what doesn't when shopping using social media.

Seth Fiegerman, a business reporter at Mashable, explained that social networks played a huge role in what shoppers are buying this season.

"I have no doubt that people do make purchases based on what they see on Facebook and on Twitter," he told host Caitlyn Becker. "We just don't know how much and whether it's the single deciding element or not."

Deena Varshavskaya, CEO and founder of the online shopping site Wanelo, highlighted another challenge of shopping via social media.

"Shopping has very unique needs and very unique problems to solve -- product availability, for example," Varshavskaya said. "Social media brings together products from different brands and different retailers. How do you know when those products are no longer available? How do you know when the price has changed, right?"

Watch the full conversation on HuffPost Live.

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