Shopcade is a new Facebook application, which allows users to shop and then share their recommendations among their networks.
The Shopcade model certainly makes sense, a recent study by YouGov found that more than half of UK social media users aged between the ages of 18 and 54 are influenced by their friends and family online before they make a purchasing decision. Ahh we're such sheep, aren't we?!
So based on the fact we're heavily influenced by our online networks, Shopcade allows users to browse more than 40 million products and then create their own personalised Shopcades full of product recommendations. Users can then browse recommendations, see what their friends like, view recent trends and then buy what they like the look of.
But wait, Shopcade isn't just about helping people out and being nice and considerate out of the goodness of your heart, if your friends buy the items you've recommended, you'll get a percentage of the sale. Sure this gives people an incentive to use Shopcade and I'm sure most people wouldn't mind that their mate gets a bit of cash if they genuinely want the product. But, we worry that adding commission into the scheme could make people spam their friends, recommend a lot of things they don't care about or just be a general nuisance.
However, you could argue that at least Shopcade is puting the power into the hands of consumers as apposed to big brands. Nathalie Gaveau, founder and CEO of Shopcade.com, said:
"Shopcade leverages the power of Facebook to the benefit of consumers and brands alike. It turns the 'social network' into the 'social shopping network' allowing 800 million socially-connected people to shop, share and be rewarded all in one place. Rather than brands dictating what people should buy, Shopcade empowers people to share products that actually matter with each other. Now the customers are in control."
Whether people use Shopcade for good or just try to bully their friends into buying products, it's a very interesting model, which combines online shopping and social media in a way that puts normal customers at the core. Just remember to use it nicely, otherwise even your nearest and dearest will be forced to unfriend.