Shopow!

Rosie Baker is Marketing Week’s specialist on sustainability and retail.

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Two entrepreneurs from the North West, claim to have launched the world’s first social shopping search engine – but what does this mean?

It’s called Shopow – As in Shop – Pow. Pow as in a superhero comic, which is exactly what accompanied the press release I got about it. I don’t like the name, but that aside, the actual search engine and the proposition are good.

Shopow ticks all the boxes and has everything you would need for shopping online.

It aggregates products from thousands of online shops and lists millions of products offering price comparisons, product info, direct links to the external websites to buy. it’s like ShopStyle, but not constricted to fashion. It’s not quite as slick but it is very simple, it’s looks clear and uncluttered and it’s very functional.

There are trending products in case something someone else has bought takes your fancy, and members can  “Strike” certain products, which I haven’t fully worked out yet but it seems to be a good thing, a bit like a Facebook Like.

I can sort the results by the usual categories, and also by green rating, the price plus delivery, the delivery speed alone and by what type of warranty offered.

I can also find out what discount vouchers retailers are offering on the products I search for, I can ask a question and ask other users to recommend products and I can read reviews.

I can also link it into my Facebook and Twitter accounts to see what friends are buying.

It’s still in beta which means some of the product links are a little off kilter, and no one I know is using it yet so some of the social features don’t have much impact.

Once it starts attracting members, however, the very social nature of it should help it snowball, and as this happens the value of what it offers will increase.

The only barrier, as ever, is in getting people to use it in the first place so it’s going to have to get its marketing and communications working a bit harder.

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