Get Some Buzz from Social Shopping

Online shopping remains a largely solitary act. 60% of U.S. adults who plan to shop on the Web view recommendations from friends and family as the top factor when choosing a small online retailer for a holiday gift purchase, according to a November 2006 poll by Harris Interactive for Yahoo! Small Business.

Enter social shopping, which mixes e-commerce and social networking. Names in the space include Crowdstorm targeting shopaholics, Kaboodle for electronic gearheads, Stylehive for fashionistas and ThisNext for highbrow design.

Who cares? Glad you asked. Check out Tony Rekhi, owner of WineGlobe in Redwood City, CA. Last July, Tony began encouraging his customers to make lists on Kaboodle. The result? He was able to realize a “10-15% conversion rate without spending a single dollar.” Compare that to a return of 1-3% on his other marketing activities such as a bimonthly newsletter and paid search!

So wheres the Buzz? Ok, this one arguably is way more consumer-side buzz marketing that B2B. But I can’t help myself. The example may be B2C, but look what’s going on behind the scenes on these sites. For the first time, they are able to quantify the influence of social network marketing!

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