Shopcade Switches On Social Influence And Gaming Features

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Shopcade’s platform lets people earn rewards for recommending products to Facebook friends. So far so simple, and not entirely original. What’s more interesting is that it’s moving fast to scale up in the US out of its European base in London and allowing users to get rewards as points redeemable as offers from merchants. This includes digital goods likes music from iTunes.

With about 65 million products on the site and many major brands like Urban Outfitters and Adidas, Shopcade has plenty of inventory. But they are attempting to avoiding ‘social spam’ by only rewarding users per purchase not per click.

Now the site is introducing what they call a sort of ‘Klout for shopping’ which works inside the site.

Their new ‘Trendsetter Score’ rates users on their influence in relation to each other’s shopping habits. It’s a new level of gamification of the site which may well improve engagement.

Users now get a set of “missions” or challenges to complete in order to earn rewards, with some being exclusive rewards from partner brands. In addition a “Matcheroo” game allows users to match products they have recently featured in their Shopcade with Facebook friends. Again, they win points.

Unsurprisingly the company recently hired game designer Lawrence Clark to focus on developing and building more game mechanisms into the site.

This whole move may be in response to the enormous growth of FantasyShopper, where users can ‘play’ by building outfits and spending virtual money, as well as buying real-world items. Gamification in social shopping is the new black it seems.

Unfortunately this social influence score on shopping is too internal to Shopcade. I’d like to see it turned into more of a product.

Nathalie Gaveau, the founder and CEO, co-founded PriceMinister (acquired by Japanese e-commerce site Rakuten). Angel investors include Daniel Bernard, former CEO of European retailer Carrefour, Ian Livingston, co-founder of Eidos Games and Lord John Birt, former director general of the BBC.