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21/04/2008

Online shopping round-up: links, stats and other e-tail goodness

I was lucky enough to present at the IAB Engage for Shopping event on Wednesday .

You can see my slide deck and those from the other presentations on the IAB site...

I canvassed m’learned colleagues in the social media team in iCrossing UK and also m’learned fellow Twittrers for cool stats, sites and thoughts about online retail and social. It would be caddish not to share them with a wider network, so here goes all the social stuff that’s fit to link to...

Best Online Retail Blog Ever?: The most useful ecommerce blog ever?: Matt Neale said his favourite e-tailer blog was Get Elastic, describing it as a “mashable of online retail”. Written by the guys at an ecommerce software firm it is one of the best “corporate“ blogs I’ve ever seen, a prime example of being useful to your networks and demonstrating a team’s knowledge of and enthusiasm for its sector...

Why are fewer people searching for reviews?: Are fewer UK searchers looking for reviews: CharlieO asked why, if reviews are s important to people shopping online, that searches for ”reviews“ are apparently declining, according to Google Trends:


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I wonder whether it might be because people know where to go for their trusted reviews more than they used to? More retailers (like Comet) are including independent / user reviews on their site? Personally, I tend to check out what the ratings and reviews on Amazon say about electrical products, books and videos.

It's a global trend, by the way - with decline even sharper when you take the world's searches on Google as a whole...

Product Wikis: Reviews can feel pretty random and it can make one’s head ache trying to work out which are relevant. Sites like Product Wiki and Shop Wiki are fascinating for the way that they are taking the wiki approach to give a more structured approach to people.

Video shopping: Coming soon - instant video shopping: A site called ShopFlick (mentioned by Getelastic) promises to:

”Watch entertaining videos directly from the designers, merchants, entrepreneurs and companies selling today's best items. Then see their products come to life through videos showing you features, details and stories way beyond still images.”

The logical retail extension of efforts like Qik and seesmic married with Etsy-inspired marketplace ideas? Could be interesting... (Read more about this at Techcrunch).

Interesting by their absence - social shopping sites: There was a lot of buzz around the idea of social shopping last year, and sites like Crowdstorm have gone through recent revamps. But social shopping sites weren’t top of mind for anyone I spoke to: an anomaly? Or has the concept still not found a way to come to life?

Private shopping: Posh types who like a a bargain are flocking to sites like Vente-Privee and Gilt which are invitation only shopping websites, according to LBI’s Laurent Ezekiel. If I ever get rich enough to be invited to look round one I’ll let you know what it’s like - meantime thoughts from well-heeled readers are welcome in the comments section...


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Wildcard: Yoox.com was flagged by the LBI guys as a site they like (may or may not be a client). Basically a fashion website with community aspects.

LBIcon’s mirrored cool-fest: Last on at the IAB Engage for Shopping event (no slides posted for them, sadly), Laurent and Joseph Olewitz of LBI everyone at the IAB show away with their incredible Social Retailing concept (which may know as the interactive mirror for Nanette Lepore's concession at the Bloomingdales store in New York. You probably heard of this as it cleaned up on the buzz and PR fronts, even scooping a mention as one of the inventions of 2007 in Time Magazine.


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What I really loved about this example was the vision and the ambition it showed, taking the campaign into the offline world, developing not only with web tools but with physical technologies like RFID. And wasn’t just PR stunt either - the 2.0 version should be in the shops, as it were, later this year with Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms connected up to it.

Hope this is all interesting to you - please do add in your favourite shopping sites, stats and thoughts below...

: : Bonus-links: Thanks to Adam B, Claire and Michael for these cool online retail related sites (just can't let 'em go to waste: we like Revoo's geotagged reviews, Ebuyer for just being a great site to use, Magento Commerce for its open source ecommerce content management system, Polyvore's fashion pallette and (second mention) Etsy for the colour picker and excellent search functions.




Comments

Hi Antony,

Thanks for the kind words about Get Elastic :)

Nice to discover your blog.

Linda Bustos
Emerging Media Analyst
Elastic Path Software

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Hello everyone. Just a quick post regarding the website you mention vente-privee.com. I have been a member of the new UK site for 2 months now and can assure you that you certainly don't need to be rich to join! I bought from two sales - Tommy Hilfiger and Paco Rabanne, and the prices were pretty cheap. Delivery took quite a long time though. I'd say that's the only real downside. If you want to become a member, email me at danhayter@gmail.com and I can refer you. Dan

I concur, Get Elastic is a great site, everyone should check it out!

I concur, Get Elastic is a great site, everyone should check it out!

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