I “Heart” Zappos’ New Social E-commerce Site

With continued consumer resistance to online tracking, several major internet browsers have taken action. According to a recent Wall Street journal article, Mozilla will be joining Microsoft and Apple in implementing cookie blocking features to its internet browser with Google resisting to follow suit. Companies who rely on cookies to understand online consumer behavior, personalize consumer online experiences, or hold shopping carts, should start exploring alternate approaches to monitoring web activity. For many companies, this might mean creating a better platform to encourage permission based sharing.

I think a great example is the new social e-commerce website Glance, that Zappos launched last week. Glance leverages social platforms to create a more curated and personalized shopping experience by incorporating individual preferences and current trends. Unlike many companies who use cookies to personalize content, Glance encourages consumers to "heart" items in the same way you can "like" items on Pinterest and to share products and purchases via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest; this data can then be captured and used in the algorithms to refine the handful of products displayed. Consumers can also revisit the site and easily access "hearted" items without being creeped out by a tracking website. Glance not only has the ability to gather data from social sharing to make the consumer experience better, it also generates consumer word-of-mouth advertising.

While the social commerce approach might work for Zappos and other fashion/apparel commerce sites, it wouldn't work well for Best Buy. Maybe they'll just have to hope the new wave of fingerprinting technology won't get shut down by privacy advocates…

Posted by Sarah Slattery on 10/28