WeShop, an online consumer shopping network, today announced it has secured a first round of funding for $4.25 million. Though the company is currently in private-beta mode, it claims to have already signed-up some 100,000 members, according to the company’s announcement.
WeShop is working to combine behavioral targeting with the loads of available data each individual shopper holds. Through the WeShop network, members can anonymously provide data on their shopping habits and purchases, which is then used by retailers and brands to offer members offers, such as lower prices. A mom, for example, who buys a specific brand of diapers might receive discount or free diapers from a rival brand through the WeShop network. The idea being create brand loyalty through great deals and a better shopping experience.
WeShop also created what it is calling “shopping networks.” The networks bring together shoppers with similar interests, such as sustainable living, Legos or online gamers. These networks may be very attractive locations for advertisers and retailers as they can provide offers to a group, rather than individual shoppers.
If you’re wondering if privacy is an issue, the company has made it known that the member has complete control over what’s public and private as well as having the option of making the data anonymous. Perhaps learned from other startups working with people’s purchasing data, such as Twitter-for-purchases Blippy — which recently opened their API to developers and lets users adjust privacy settings on which info is usable and which is private.
The New York City-based company plans to make money by taking cut of any products purchased by a shopper from one of the retailers or brands using the network as well as offering merchants and brands the opportunity to advertise on the network through cost-per-action (CPA) – advertisers only pay for a specific actions.