By David Dorf on Aug 18, 2010
My last few posting have focused on the social side of commerce, and the sites that enable shoppers to share information. Swipely, a social network for shoppers, just unveiled their site to the public today so I took it for a spin. The concept, which is similar to Blippy, allows shoppers to register a credit card to automatically broadcast purchases. In this case the retailer, location, and time are known but the user must add the product details. Alternatively, users can also forward e-receipts to Swipely.
Once purchases have been imported, users can add a description and rating and decide the degree of broadcast (e.g. none, Swipely network, Facebook, Twitter). Others can comment on purchases, add products to their wishlist, and ask questions.
I ordered some running shoes last night, so I decided to try the e-receipt route. I forwarded the receipt and received confirmation about 2 hours later that Swipely received the receipt. Another 30 minutes went by before the receipt was parsed and posted. I was surprised how long it took, but perhaps I'm just used to TripIt. Once the purchase was posted, it included an image and and description of the product from the website, but the date of purchase was wrong.
You can click on the retailer to see how many products have been reported sold by the retailer, and quickly see all the threads related to that retailer. You can do the same for products. But I can't really see why anyone would do this.
The postings that come from credit card purchases just state the retailer, time, and possibly location. That makes them useless unless the user logs-in and augments the posting with the specific products purchased. I could care less that John Doe bought something at Amazon, but knowing that he bought StarCraft 2 might interest me.
I still find product reviews on Amazon easier to find, more informative, and generally more trustworthy. Until these social shopping networks find a way to make data very product specific, I'm not sure they will reach mainstream adoption. For now, they are just over-sharing information.