ShopNBC For The Rest Of Us

Shopflick is a new startup in the online video-shopping marketplace.  The big advantage Shopflick has is that it’s the first startup in this space propelling it to instant fame.  There are many things that are awesome about the Shopflick business model:

– Virtually untouched market Shopflick, will benefit from a land grab
– Video adoption is increasing rapidly, good timing
– Shopflick does not carry inventory, producers do

To read more about the company visit the TechCrunch article.

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The Inconvenient Truth

While retailers avoid talk about product returns shoeline.com has shown sharing information with customers is a good thing. Shoeline.com launched a feature called Return-O-Meter which shows customers the return history of shoes. As a result shoeline.com has seen a 26% surge in sales. What shoeline.com realized was that customers don’t always return products for the fun of it. They often have good reasons, like wrong true to size, true to width, etc. So if Jane had wide feet and came across a shoe that was returned because of width then this only means she will not buy this piece, she could still buy something else on the site plus now she feels good about transparency while the company saves money on return processing costs.

Thanks to Carolyn Gardner for writing about this on her Blog at http://blog.sitebrand.com/

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Collaborative Shopping

When I read the book Why We Buy the author talked about how women shoppers tend to shop in groups heavily influenced by collective peer opinion. It has always bothered me that if this is how women like to shop then why is it that neimanmarcus.com does not allow it (no website allows it). Group shopping with multiple people looking at the same screen is not very efficient. So here is my idea….

Hypothetical Case: Neimanmarcus.com should have a ‘collaborative shopping’ feature. Once I click on this I am asked for my preferred time slot and email addresses of friends I’d like to invite. Once the time slot has been selected an email calendar invite is sent to my friends (just like on Google calendar). Once all friends accept the invite at the selected time slot when the invite originator browses Neimanmarcus.com friends see screen transitions from the originators perspective. Here is how collaborative shopping is performed: As the originator browses a certain category friends not only see the same items but can use a chat module for yay or nay votes. They can also make their own picks for the shopper. Ultimately neimanmarcus.com can further monetize by offering custom discounts based on the size and segment of the group.

This idea already exists in a completely different platform: console gaming. Boys play multiplayer games where they see a common screen and IM and chat through headsets. Why not extend the functionality to online shopping?

What situations best suite this feature?

– Friends that are dispersed geographically
– Family members shopping for a common family event
– Shopping for high consideration items
– Men shopping for their spouse and using her friends for help
– Girl who want to have a girls day out while they are still in the office

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Bad New Idea

Giftbaskets.com is on a quest to create a new site search interface. Thank goodness someone in a sea of retail sameness is making an effort to be different. Unfortunately this particular idea is a dud. Maybe iteration 2 will work better.

Search…I typed in ‘cheap gift for mom’ in the search box…

Giftbasket

and got a lot of crud…….

Giftbasket1

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