Net-A-Porter Bets on Real-Time Social Shopping


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Natalie Massenet and the team at Net-A-Porter are excited about social shopping — and they’re currently working on a project to bring this new form of social media-meets-consumerism to their loyal customer base.

In addition to its much-ballyhooed soon-to-launch brother site Mr. Porter, the company revealed yesterday that it has plans to launch Net-A-Porter Live, a real-time sharing tool for web shoppers.

Screengrab via the DLD Conference liveblog.

As Massenet explains, the site will allow “customers from all over the world to…see how many users are online at [one] time [and] what people are putting in their baskets, wish lists [and] telling a friend about.”

Net-A-Porter benefits from social shopping in a number of ways. Customers will be able to share with their networks about specific products they like via tools like Twitter and Facebook — and with each designer sweater, heel, bag or dress shared, these customers will contribute to a ground-up marketing campaign. The site will also be able to amass a wealth of data about how people are shopping right that minute, helping buyers and executives to track the trends or products that are performing well or poorly.

Massenet believes that, much like positive product reviews, Live will boost actual purchasing: “We still are the first editors of the product that gets on the site, but you may start listening to other people around the world about what’s important and it’s a very compelling sales tool.”

There’s no word yet as to when the site will debut, or how it will incentivize users to start sharing their purchase info. In a best-case scenario, its launch will convince more internet-shy luxury retailers of the value of better and more direct engagement with customers.