Tuesday Jan 31, 2012

Curated Commerce

As we create more and more digital information, it becomes harder to find exactly what we're looking for.  Google has done a fantastic job of enabling search, but it still takes work to comb through the matching results to find the right answer.  And if you're not really sure what you're looking for, Google is probably not the right tool.

If you're looking for products, choosing your favorite retailer's site is a good start.  There, you can browse using facets to figure out options.  Retailers will often group items together, as if they were designing a store window, to show related items together.  However, that approach may be difficult to scale.  A better approach might be to allow customers to do the curating themselves.  This is not unlike the crowd-sourcing I described in this post about Polyvore.

The latest in curated commerce is Pinterest, a site that let's people "pin" interesting things they find online to thematic "bulletin boards."  When those interesting things are products, its possible to make browsing the collections seem like shopping in a boutique.  This helps consumers discover and share, which in turn elevates sales.

According to Mashable, Pinterest is becoming a significant referrer to retailer sites, especially fashion ones. With 7.5M users, 58% of which are women, this trend is expected to continue.

This is yet another consideration for any retailer's social strategy.

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David Dorf, Sr Director Technology Strategy for Oracle Retail, shares news and ideas about the retail industry with a focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


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