Marketing to Women: The New Online Personal Shopper
March 21, 2011 § 4 Comments
Okay, I just joined Sole Society. Sounds like a band or nonprofit, doesn’t it. But it’s a new monthly shoe club, pioneering the idea of personalization in the group buying world. For those of us who remember Columbia Record Club, you will understand the concept. Every month, you are sent an email with a group of designer quality shoes priced at $49.95. You can either purchase or decline. The difference in this concept is that shoes are selected based on style preferences. The style preferences are recorded based on a short quiz from which you pick pictures that portray your personal style.
Why is Sole Society different? After all, in the world of online buying sites, there are more than enough to go around. Just looking in my own inbox, I see Groupon, Living Social, RunDaisy, Daily Deals for Moms, Jetsetter, SniqueAway, ShopItToMe.com, Rue La La, Beyond the Rack, Shoebuy, OneKingsLane, Tasting Table, UrbanDaddy, and My Perfect Sale. I don’t even include Hautelook and Gilt Groupe, two of the biggest fashion players. (No, I don’t buy from all of these. It’s research, right?)
How many of these does a girl need, I should ask? You pick the ones that match your needs.
Personalization Missing From Most Group Sites
Each of them is striving to have a special niche. Yes, they may be devoted to travel, local deals, food, clothes,and home accessories. They may offer my selection of brands. But they hardly ever really personalize to me. They may be local but they don’t know my neighborhood. They may be brand savvy but not know my style. Yes, I love them but sometimes I need more.
But Sole Society seems to attempt to become a personal shopper for me. Now that is something that will set Sole Society apart from the others. Sole Society is owned by HauteLook, which was recently purchased by Nordstrom for $270 million. Right now, they are offering a house brand called Marco Santi, but with Nordstrom in their blood, I am sure other brands are coming in the future.
This wave of e-commerce represents billions of dollars as noted by the sale of Living Social to Amazon and the courtship of Groupon and Google. There are some 200 Groupon clones in existence right now. Is personalization around the corner for some of these other sites? Hopefully, as the concepts begin to mature and competition becomes more prolific, the marketplace will offer better choices for the consumer.
Groupon has just announced it is launching a new mobile deals service next month called “Groupon Now.” The idea is for users to be able to click two buttons — “I’m Hungry” or “I’m Bored” — and get a deal for a restaurant or service nearby that is valid RIGHT NOW, but might only last for a few hours. That’s getting a little bit closer to really helping me out.
And what did I buy? Some snazzy red pumps in just the right heel height for me!