Online retailers turn to social networks for holiday profits

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Online shopping becomes more social as big retailers turn to Facebook, Twitter, Google+

Buying things has always been social.

That's the thinking at Zappos.com, one of the largest online shoe and clothing stores. And that's why the Nevada-based company turns to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to answer customer questions and complaints, and to tell fans about their funky company culture.

It's also why Zappos executives have tried to make the site itself more social and by investing time, money and staff to grow the company's presence on Facebook and Twitter.

When it comes to dollars and cents, Facebook is the leader there, too.

"Facebook has the largest direct impact on Website traffic and sales," Luman added. He did not specify how much of the company's sales can be attributed to Facebook or any other social network.

To take advantage of the surge in social networking and the positive effect it can have on a company's bottom line, Zappos has worked hard to deepen that integration.

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