Social Shopping Without Hitting the Mall

If you’re looking for a shopping buddy who won’t talk your ear off or with whom you have to tire out your poor stiletto clad feet with at the mall, than look no further than StyleFeeder.

StyleFeeder, a social shopping website based in Cambridge, MA, offers users the perfect opportunity to find someone to shop “with” that has a similar taste in style, in the form of a StyleTwin.

Shoppers can be matched with one another based on a whole list of product attributes with people from just about anywhere. In fact, according to VP of Business Development Shergul Arshad, StyleFeeder chooses StyleTwins for other shoppers based 100,000 product attributes.

The site, founded by Philip Jacob in 2005, lets shoppers browse 14 million products all on one page. Today, 2 million shoppers use the site each month, but just two years ago, in 2007, StyleFeeder had a small fraction of that number, says Arshad, who joined StyleFeeder in 2006 with a resume including experience at companies like Armani and eBay. But though 2 million shoppers seems like a high number at first glance, a large part of the population isn’t represented as about 80% of shoppers on the site are women, and most of them are between the ages of 15 and 35.

Though only a small fraction of the population is represented, all brand ranges are represented equally. So someone searching for one particular item, like a headband, will find that a range of products from stores including Saks, JCrew, Amazon, and Etsy, will show up in the product browser. Though the StyleFeeder is focused on personal style, Arshad points out, most people will find more products by larger brand names because these brands simply have more items.

Within just the past month, StyleFeeder was a nominated for the 2009 MITX Awards’ “applied technology” category due to its new product browser and geotargeting technology. This new technology helps shoppers better find relevant items based on their location (in addition to price, brand, color, etc.) – most likely a user in Alaska wouldn’t search for sandals as often as a Floridian would, for example. It’s all about location, location location.

And if sharing your shopping details with others on the site isn’t enough, click on the option to share your new picks with your Facebook friends.


Side Note: Though I was hoping that my Style Twin would wind up being one of the celebrities that uses the site (like Ashley Olsen), I was excited to learn that she’s still a world away from me, in Malaysia!

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