Just some social web – retail mashup ideas (update: Zappos just did it)

Idea #1: Facebook+Retail outlet like Old Navy/Gap/Nike mashup. I select a few products I like from the retailer web site and publish it on my facebook stream to solicit recommendations/comments/feedback from friends on facebook. Should be enabled to select the friends I want opinion from. This could apply to almost any online retailer.

Idea #2: Google maps + any retail chain. I draw a rectangle (or any shape) on a map. Say I draw a little shape over SoHo, then I search for jacket, it should show me the products that are physically available in stores within that area. Then I should be able to compare the products on different parameters. It would be like an online mall. I think this will be a cool extension to the already integrated online stores of Old Navy+Gap+Banana Republic+Piperlime+Athleta. ‘Cos sometimes, you don’t want to wait for something to ship.

If you know of these ideas already being used by someone do share examples. Thanks.

Update (7/20/09 11:35am est): Of course I should have bet on Zappos doing this before anyone else. Today my friend and fellow CBM Anish Shah posted a link to my.zappos.com on facebook. Investigation reveals Zappos launched this beta on July 17th.

Picture 4Go Zappos!

Update 7/29/2009 Orbitz too has integrated Facebook Connect now allowing you to broadcast your travel plans to friends, who then can click through and book a similar plan (as reported by Inside Facebook).

This straight from the Orbitz application page on Facebook

Share your trips! Book a flight, hotel, or vacation package on Orbitz and use the handy Share link to let friends and family know where you’re off to next.

Share your hotel reviews! All Orbitz hotel customers have the option of sharing to Facebook once they complete a review. Steer friends toward the good experiences and away from the bad ones. That’s what being a friend is, right?

While I think this is kind of cool, I think a recommendation seeking feature would be an even more involving experience. As far as vacations are concerned, you take vacations lot less frequently than you take recommendations for vacations. Something intresting can be done around friends’ photos. Sure, it might not have a direct benefit like someone clicking on your travel plan and buying it right away (which I assume will anyway have a very low conversion rate) but then it is social. But I’m sure these guys are working on it.

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