Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category
Back in July I bought my first place– a purchase that has completely changed the way I shop. Now, instead of only perusing stores and websites for jeans, tops, and accessories, I find myself checking out the home section too. I’m excited by looking at paint swatches and watching HGTV’s “My First Place” and seeing how others “pull it all together.” And right now, I’m also quietly obsessed with Pottery Barn.
Pottery Barn‘s website is pretty robust– they have a “Style House” section that features videos, design tips “for every room,” design tools, and heck, they even have a “furniture facts” section– where you can learn about your new sectional. But what their site lacks is a community element– something that surprised me. Continue reading
Recently Tampax (yes, that Tampax) launched an online community for teen and tween girls, called the MonthlyGiftClub. The community focuses on brand awareness, membership and encourages girls to participate by providing free product samples and customizable avatars.
The site is a seemingly natural hybrid between teen magazines “gross out” stories, SecondLife, and branded online marketing/communities, but to me, it seems to miss its mark, courtesy of the site’s focus: hygiene.
Perhaps I’m too out of touch with teen and tweenage girls, but the first thing that came to mind was, “what teenage or tweenage girl would want to share and collaborate about ‘that.'” I fondly remember reading YM Magazine and scanning the “OMG” stories that showcase girls’ most embarrassing moments– each focusing on making the reader feel better about themselves and their lives. (Mostly because you were so thankful that your day wasn’t as bad as the girl who slipped on a puddle of milk in the cafeteria and mooned her entire class). I have a hard time believing that same type of subconscious validation and ego patting will take place in this community, though I could be wrong.
Most girls turn to online communities as an escape or an extension of themselves– that’s why sites like SecondLife succeed. But just like any other product review, when things matter, people typically trust people they know before anonymous faces or products they meet online. Perhaps I’m outdated, but isn’t this the sort of conversation typically reserved for mothers and daughters, or sisters?
It’s possible I’m totally off my mark, but from the look of the site it seems like a much too stuffy format to lure legitimate community members in. Maybe with a redesign and a little less emphasis on the “blush worthy” products like feminine hygiene they’d find success. Until then, it looks like another community for the sake of community.
A prime example of this dynamic duo are the ShopStyle sites– designed for fashion, home, and children, each site also provides a collaborative counterpart that enables you to shop, match outfits, and share your best looks with your friends and other users. Much like a lot of tech sites out there, these sites inform you of what’s hot right now, what other people are buying, and what to watch for.
It’s the natural, online evolution of Cosmopolitan, Glamour, People, etc. but in a more accessible, consumable format, as these sites offer what those magazines’ advertisers can only dream of– point and click purchasing.
So get out there– start shopping and collaborating, and create your dream look book, or join a trend group.