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|Tuesday, June 14, 2011|
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Last week my colleague and I attended a few of the panels as part of Internet Week NY at the fabulous Metropolitan Pavilion. It was a busy week – and unfortunately, I can’t say that all of the panels we attended had useful takeaways. However, there were a couple that really stuck out.
The first was “Social Food Apps: How They’re Changing Your Mind at Point of Sale,” for its discussion on “in the moment” experiences and their direct effect on consumer purchasing behavior (and not to mention, I learned about a bunch of cool new apps to help with my next wine purchase!).
The panel featured foodie business experts from the following food app companies:
• Grubster - aims to take the guessing out of in-restaurant ordering
• Foodspotting – provides a visual guide to food and where to find it
• Consmr – considered the “Yelp for Grocery Stores”
• Snooth – the ultimate wine discovery app
We recently discussed how app developers are embracing public data for the creation of apps in specific metropolitan areas and how mobile apps that enhance the quality of experiences for users are the most successful. This panel’s discussion further illustrated that point and re-emphasized the trend of encouraging reward-based behavior. For example, Foodspotting is looking to put a bigger effort on integration with restaurants and rewarding users for discovering new dishes. Snooth is even creating a social game for wine enthusiasts that, according to CEO and featured panelist Rich Tomko, will be like a “Foursquare for wine.” They are also in the process of rolling out a “Pandora for wine” experience that aims to create a curatorial experience for wine lovers based on taste. For those like me that hadn’t heard of the app, users submit a picture of a bottle of wine and through the use of image recognition technology software, the app gives you real-time ratings and reviews on that particular wine.
Piggybacking off the point of sale discussion is the panel “SOCIAL COMMERCE: Insights from innovative leaders who are reshaping the commerce experience,” which examined how social media is currently impacting commerce and how it will play a role in the future.
This session featured experts from a number of fashion and e-commerce companies including:
• Lucky Magazine – the leading fashion shopping magazine
• Fashism.com – a start up that lets shoppers get instant feedback on their fashion purchases
• Chloe & Isabel – online jewelry designer that lets women build their own online boutique
• Birch Box – service that delivers monthly beauty samples to women’s homes
• Quirky – helps consumer inventions come to fruition
The biggest trend I took away from this panel was that online shopping will soon be almost a direct imitation of physical in-store shopping, without the transportation hassles. While e-commerce is great for quick, comfortable shopping and allows us to make purchases without leaving our homes, the experience can be lonely because we don’t get the same human interaction online that we get inside an actual store. Companies like Fashism.com and Lucky Magazine are bridging that gap. During prom season, Lucky is looking to integrate Skype into the in-store shopping experience. The store will have Skype set up outside of dressing rooms so that as a shopper is trying on dresses, she can consult fashion experts, via the Web, their opinions. Fashism.com is already doing something similar. You can snap a photo of yourself at a store and post right to the website to get immediate feedback on the outfit. While I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for Skype outside of my dressing room, the idea of expanding our shopping community and getting instant feedback is intriguing, and a trend worth watching.
If you’re interested in more specifics on the panels, you can check them out via UStream.
- co-written by Jessica Casano-Antonellis, senior account manager, and Allie MacPherson, account coordinator, Text 100 NYC
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