There are tons of “Social Shopping” sites out there that let users discuss their experiences, desires and purchases for just about anything from fashion to camping gear. From a shoe-lover’s perspective, I can greatly appreciate these sites because of the user reviews. Think about it. When your trying on an adorable pair of stilettos in the store, they are your best friend, but the wrong pair of high-heels can become your nightmare after a couple of hours strutting around in them. Having someone review the shoes before I buy them and find this out can be incredibly useful to shoe loving ladies like myself!
Sites like Stylehive, Crowdstorm, and ThisNext gave users ways to make product recommendations and discuss things they’d like to have, sharing their desires and buying intentions, according to Springwise. Then other sites came out that actually let shoppers share, show-off, and discuss the things they have actually purchased.
Sites like Teethyou.com (originally launched in China around 2007) give shopping fans a place for showing off what they’ve actually purchased.
Following them was Blippy which allows users to automatically share their credit card purchases, the amount and in some cases the item. Then, their friends can comment and see what their friends are buying. Personally, I think that is kind of creepy and just one more way to say, “Steel my credit card, please!” One benefit to this type of service, however, is being able to see what others are paying for the same thing, that way you always know if your getting ripped off or if you getting a killer deal. Just imagine going to a store and seeing a hot pair of shoes retailing at $250 and then logging into your smartphone app to see that someone else just bought the same pair of shoes online for $150? I can see the value in that as it adds tremendous transparency to the purchasing process by facilitating reviews and comparisons.
One of the newest kids on the block, Justbought.it adds geolocation and an augmented reality twist. Like everything else, the site lets users take photos of their purchases on their smartphones, share them with friends through Facebook and Twitter and comment on the purchases others have made. The twist and area in which they differentiate is two-fold:
1. Google Maps integration that allows users to find local friends and deals and see what/where people are buying on a map.
2. Augmented reality version soon to be launched on the Android that lets users walk into a store and see what others on the site have already purchased.
The company’s strategy is to forge partnerships with online retailers to enable tweets on the site whenever consumers buy something. Mashable compares the site to StockTwits in that Justbouth.it attempts to establish a community around something people are already using- Twitter.
The big barrier to entry they must face is getting users on board and excited about using it. Before they can really grow their user base and exploit the value of geo-coded tweets and the augmented reality they need to get the Android and Blackberry version up! Currently they only have an iPhone app. Further, it helps that you can sign up for an account using either your Facebook or Twitter account to start socially shopping. If your interested in seeing if it’s useful for you, the site provides “5 reasons” for people to sign up.
Despite the fact that I’m still a crackberry user, I’ll be signing up anyway just to see what the buzz is about.