Plurchase: eCommerce Goes Social (Marketing to Moms)

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E-commerce Goes Social

Here’s a great new technology that allows you to shop with your friends, online.  As technology continues to evolve it will enable us all to have more and more interactive experiences as close to reality as possible…virtual reality.  All us Moms out there love to get feedback from our friends, this is a great new tool that allows the use of social interaction in the digital space.  Marketers should take notice — social marketing to women is here and this is just another one of many tools where a brand can integrate into the space.

Quick Pitch: Plurchase lets you shop with friends on sites like Amazon and Zappos. See what friends are shopping for, and chat with them.

Genius Idea: Plurchase brings the social act of window shopping to e-commerce. With Plurchase, you can invite friends to join you while you shop and discuss with them the items you’re looking at before you buy.

As convenient as online shopping can be, one of the downsides is that unless you happen to have someone with you while you’re online, the communal aspect of “are these shoes cute” or “is this dress too expensive” is lost. Sure, you can send friends or family members an e-mail pointing to the item you are looking at, but the real-time aspect gets buried in the shuffle.

Plurchase is attempting to change that by brining a social kick to e-commerce sites like Amazon and Zappos. Go to Plurchase.com, choose where you want to shop and then send your friends a URL (or post connect with Facebook and send a request or share an item that way) and they can join you in real-time and see what you’re shopping for and chat.

Plurchase loads as a sidebar on the standard Amazon.com or Zappos site and there are no plugins or registration required. You can choose to publish an item to Facebook and ask others to join you, but what you share and with whom is totally up to you.

Plurchase also works cross-site, so if I’m shopping for Blu-ray discs at Amazon.com and my friend Sang is checking out some kicks at Zappos, we can share our results with each other and continue to chat in the little sidebar window.

It’s a pretty neat idea to be able to communicate while you shop. In addition to Amazon/Zappos, Plurchase also supports Craigslist and is looking to add more sites, as well as Twitter and voice chat integration in the future. It’s also a free service — they make their money off of affiliate payments from the sites they support.

We can see Plurchase being useful for individuals wanting to shop for a gift for someone together. For instance, my sister and I often get into argument if we actually go shopping together, however, if we could browse the web for a gift for our parents for Christmas or their anniversary, the world might be a more civil place and our parents might even get a joint gift for once.

What do you think about socializing e-commerce? Let us know in the comments!

This post is part of Mashable’s Spark of Genius series, which highlights a unique feature of startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. The series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark.

http://mashable.com/2009/10/13/plurchase/



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