Five years ago, publisher Hearst dipped its toes into the online shopping waters with its launch of Kaboodle, which it describes as a “social shopping platform for connecting people and products.” Five years later, with online shopping and social media exploding, Kaboodle celebrated its fifth anniversary with a host of new features.
Kaboodle said it draws 8 million monthly unique visitors to its site, which boasts more than 9 million products in its catalog, with 400,000 added every month.
Its new features include Style Friend Finder, which allows users to locate shoppers with similar tastes, who will then appear in their activity feeds, much like Facebook, and CEO Anne Kallin Zehren said, “When one of your style friends adds a new pair of shoes, you’re more likely to take a serious look because you share similar style.”
Also added to Kaboodle was Trend-o-Meter, which uses proprietary algorithms that identify and track trends by style-based attributes such as color, pattern, material, and design to provide real-time highlights of fashion trends. “When a large and stylish community is helping to identify what’s ’in,’ it directly influences not only what people purchase, but also what they are recommending to their social networks,” Zehren said.
On the changes overall, she added:
This is the next step toward realizing the promise of social shopping. By giving our users trusted social recommendations for products and people that are uniquely relevant to them, we’re bringing that girlfriend-to-girlfriend social shopping experience to the Web. This iteration makes it easier to connect users with like-minded shoppers who will help them discover, share, and buy products they love.
This iteration begins to better align our users with like-minded shoppers and then connect them with the most trending brands and products, according to our stylish community. These kinds of social recommendations, especially from influential users, carry significant weight all the way down the sales funnel and continue on after the purchase is made.