Tara Hunt, Shwowp : Shopping made social and organized

By Team YS|2nd Feb 2011
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Shwowp is a tool to help you take control of your shopping history: organize it, share it and track how you influence others.Tara 'missrogue' Hunt, author of The Whuffie Factor, has been working with startups for many years now, so it made sense that one day she would lead her own. With her cofounders, Cassandra Girard and Jerome Paradis, she founded Shwowp.com (pronounced Sh-WOW-p), an online tool to help you gather, share and connect with people buying similar products. YourStory caught up with Tara to learn more about Shwowp.

Idea behind Shwowp

The founding team believes that when we buy something, we are telling the world a little about who we are. The gadgets we get excited over, the clothes we wear and the books we read are just a few of the examples of this.

The idea came from the founders own personal pain points. Tara is a very savvy and frequent shopper, but found that there was too much choice without clarity while shopping online. She dreamed of the day she could filter out the irrelevant results to get to what really suited her search. As the social web emerged, it became more and more clear that adding social aspects and giving users an ability to publish their taste patterns to already good recommendation software would be the key to creating smart filters. Right now, Shwowp is at the phase where people can start to build their taste profiles and their social patterns.

How do people use Shwowp

There are several ways to publish the products you are buying to Shwowp. First, you forward any email order confirmations that you receive from buying products online to wow@shwowp.com. Shwowp's parsing engine takes the email and creates a record of that purchase in your stream. You can also use the bookmarklet (works in all browsers) to capture information off any product web page. It automatically pulls in photo, url, title, price and description to create a record in your account. The team is developing mobile applications for offline purchases as well.

Once you have your products in Shwowp, you can share them through Facebook and Twitter, find out who else owns similar products and find out a little more about the product you just bought.

Business model

Affiliate links are at the base of it - every product that is posted to Shwowp is automatically turned into an affiliate link (if available). When someone else clicks on it to buy, Shwowp makes revenue. There will also be a retailer/brand program in the future where users can opt-in to deals and newsletters from their favorite brands.

The team at Shwowp wants to move towards the promise of making shopping a less confusing and time-consuming task as quickly as possible. But for now, the team is focused on making their current beta testers happy and opening up to the general public in the next month or so.

Check out http://shwowp.com/ here

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