Being a mom is a full-time job – one that doesn’t pay in dollars or cents, but rather in love, messes, and a lack of time. San Francisco-based ShopSquad.com is hoping to work with moms wanting to maximize and streamline their shopping experiences by launching a social commerce platform for consumer to consumer shopping advice via live video chat.
Using patent-pending technology, ShopSquad brings together shoppers who need product advice and a community of advisors ready to answer their questions.
Aiming to tap into the $3 billion baby product market, ShopSquad is smart to target shopping moms for a number of reasons. Busy moms are always looking for ways to save a bit of time (and money) and are one of the top demographics that rely upon word-of-mouth and referrals for purchases.
Searching for “strollers” on ShopSquad.com presents a list of 32 advisors selected based on a variety of factors – language, community rating and product expertise. Shoppers are shown which advisors are currently online and ready to video chat with a bio snippet below their photo.
While getting personal recommendations seems helpfule, there are a few drawbacks to ShopSquad’s offerings especially related their feature of Advisors:
- For moms, being able to emotionally connect with an advisor will likely depend on a couple of factors, namely trust and a similar family dynamic.
- Advisors are gain commission-based sales which could create a pushy atmosphere, leaving shoppers questioning recommendations for products that meet their needs versus higher price points.
- Moms will be more likely to connect with an advisor with a friendly face, a similar family structure, and a fleshed-out biography. A high rating will help, as well.
ShopSquad is the next best thing to getting a personalized recommendation on the best baby stroller, car seat, or age-appropriate toy – almost like a personalized shopper. In the future if shoppers could connect with advisors, especially those within specific Facebook network, could make the process more social and involve friend’s purchases.
It will be interesting to see the company’s growth – namely the personalized recommendations via video chat – and how useful users find it. Convenience and anonymity of online shopping that has been a huge part of internet growth in the earlier days.
Moms want to know what other moms think, period. If ShopSquad harnesses this trust and bond properly, they could revolutionize the way parent recommendations could travel across several social networks.
This is a guest post by Stephanie Haller, former Lumberjack editor, MediaFunnel blogger and social marketer.