Buy.com Acquires DecisionStep and Enables Social Shopping
By Ina Steiner
Buy.com acquired DecisionStep, maker of social-shopping application ShopTogether, for an undisclosed amount. Buy.com also launched ShopTogether on its marketplace, allowing visitors to share shopping experiences in real-time and make recommendations.
DecisionStep Inc. will continue to provide its products and services to other retailers under the Buy.com umbrella, and will relocate to Buy.com's Aliso Viejo campus from Maryland.
ShopTogether allows visitors to chat with others via email, instant messenger (IM) or Facebook Connect while shopping. ShopTogether integrates with Twitter and other social networks, allows simultaneous product browsing, and gives shoppers the ability to redirect a friend, with permission, to the page he or she is viewing.
Shoppers who connect with Facebook can see which of their friends are available to chat in IM, with a toolbar on the right side off the screen that shows Facebook friends' photos and names. Clicking on a friend's photo will bring up a Facebook Share window with the following message:
"Click here to shop with me on Buy-com - You can shop with your friends just like you're in the store together! Get a second opinion or just have fun shopping with your friends on Buy-com. Log into Facebook on Buy-com to see which friends are online now."
Buy.com said initial beta testing showed consumers spent significantly more time on the site when shopping with their friends.
"Integrating social connection on Buy.com makes online shopping more engaging and fun, and we believe it will ultimately drive increased loyalty," said Neel Grover, president and CEO of Buy.com. "ShopTogether is an integral asset on the Buy.com site, and we plan to capitalize on this platform with the acquisition of the company."
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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