As e-commerce and social networking continue to intersect, consumers are increasingly turning towards Facebook or Twitter for product recommendations. ShopSocially is a product recommendation portal launching to the public today that aims to allow users to socialize shopping decisions with their “circle of trust.”
The idea behind ShopSocially is that it brings your Facebook friends into its system, and you can choose which friends you’d like to “shout” your potential purchase to get feedback on the site. You can also publish your purchase to the site, a la Blippy. In order to publish your desired product, you simply publish the link to the item and ShopSocially will include a picture and link in the update. Users can post comments on friends’ items and you can push your posts to Facebook.
Of course the idea behind ShopSocially is that you can elicit product recommendations from your friends as opposed to complete strangers on the sites where you are looking to purchase an item. Founder Jai Rawat says that the site has seen considerable user engagement although it is still in private beta. An average post for a product recommendation is getting over 3 responses and visitors are averaging more than 8 minutes per visit. The site also implements privacy controls for sharing only what they want and with whom they want.
While consumers are pushing their retail purchases more and more to Facebook and are even engaging in sites like Blippy to publish their shopping history, it may be difficult for ShopSocially to gain the traffic that product review sites like Retrevo or even Amazon see. That being said, the idea behind the startup is compelling and it looks like it has already gained a loyal userbase.