Quorus is a new social shopping platform that integrates into ecommerce sites and enables customers to have a truly collaborative social shopping experience. Its features encourage shoppers to share great finds, get opinions from friends and fellow shoppers, and collaborate on gift ideas using multiple channels of communication. We had the opportunity to talk with Michael Dougherty, Founder and CEO of Quorus and Matt Scoble, VP Business Development of Quorus and get a live demo of their service on Zappos.com.
To start the demo, Michael took me to the VIP section of Zappos.com where Quorus is currently live. He then posed a question: what if he was having trouble deciding between one pair of strappy high heeled boots and a similar pair? Despite the explosion of messaging technologies and new ways to connect via social networks, Michael pointed out, we have a difficult time manouevering around the clunky copy+paste+message method of sharing URLs.
Through its simple and elegant skinned toolbar, Quorus lets Zappos users collaborate in their shopping experience with ease.
Michael proceeded to invite me to view the flashy boots he was considering buying from the Quorus toolbar on Zappos.com. I instantly received an email invitation to join in the conversation. After signing up for Zappos VIP, I was brought directly to the product page of the boots that Michael was contemplating. We had a quick chat about their style in the Quorus toolbar, and he decided to wait a bit before making a decision.
Quorus is inherently multi-party and multi-channel in nature. This means that Michael could have invited a dozen friends or more to join in on the boots discussion, and he could have invited them via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or SMS.
To handle the larger conversations and the fact that people lead busy lives, the Quorus team has developed a rather innovative way of communicating: eanbling both synchronous and asynchronous messaging at the same time. Shoppers can have a real-time conversation with their friends, via instant messages similar to Facebook chat. However, if some of the group is offline, they can join the discussion later, even if no other participant is online. Quorus also aggregates your most recent conversations so you can rejoin a previous discussion with a single click.
One of the really stand-out ways that Quorus implements their multi-party/multi-channel and synchronous/asynchronous features is through its mobile support. A shopper can invite a friend in on their shopping experience by adding their mobile number to Quorus, and that friend will receive a text message with a link to the product page. The two shoppers (and as many others as they choose) can then discuss the item and continue shopping, all from a mobile phone.
Dougherty comments on the mobile integration of Quorus,
“The ability to get instant feedback from friends using mobile is a huge win for both consumers & retailers. Quorus hosts the whole experience – mobile chat and product viewing – so even companies without mobile-optimized sites can offer cutting-edge mobile / social technology.”
Quorus is on the cutting-edge of providing collaborative social shopping experiences for online shoppers. Currently being tested on Zappos.com VIP, the company is eyeing a few other ecommerce sites for the future.
“When it comes to shopping, we believe that the entire ecommerce experience, from awareness to browsing to search to comparison to purchase to post-transaction, will be fundamentally re-architected around social experiences. We aim to play a leading role in this transformation.”