I’m still thinking about leveraging the power of the software behind Polyvore to reinvent the bricks and mortar retail experience. I’m reminded of a conversation that I heard recently about the changing face of journalism with the advent of social media. The speaker was saying that in the past, an individual with a story would submit it to the news distributor who, after vetting (to whatever degree) the information, would pay the journalist. Now, with services such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and others, news is often posted and news agencies take advantage of the “free” information. There is now conversation that that just isn’t fair. There’s rumblings of how to compensate content providers rather than just boosting their Klout scores.
Of course, I don’t know the answer to this, but I do know that there are many activities we participate in online that are essentially free publicity and marketing for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and more. In my Polyvore post, I talked about using a similar software platform which allowed you to virtually interact with the inventory of bricks and mortar retailers in such a way that you could assemble outfits, create shopping lists and more. One thing I didn’t cover, however, was the ability to share your ensembles. Polyvore has a very robust sharing mechanism that allows you to post your created sets and collections to social networks and blogs. When you are sharing, you are basically advertising for each retailer whose items are represented in your outfit. Now, imagine if you were able to earn money or retail credit based on those items you shared and others purchased as a result. This isn’t a new concept. Amazon has been running a very successful affiliate program for a long time. Why only promote individual items? Why not begin the up-sell before the first pitch ever gets thrown? How could a more robust, interactive, and incentive-driven online experience revitalize the shopping experience?