Group buying may be all the rage via companies like Groupon but ShopWithYourFriends, which launches today, adds a new twist to social shopping by enabling group shopping sessions online.
The Dutch startup uses co-browsing technology to share the screen between multiple shoppers who can put together different pieces and discuss their choices. The idea is to simulate online the real-world experience of a group of women shopping together.
The consumer web site offers items from 50 online shops in the US, UK, Germany and France, including French Connection, My Wardrobe, Karen Millen, Mango and other well-known European high-street brands. Users can invite friends to a shopping session via Facebook or a URL.
The target market is women aged 15-45. Personally, I can’t see many 30 something women finding the time or inclination to organize a live shopping session, but it could be a hit with teenage girls.
Co-shopping might work best as a feature in existing online shopping portals, rather than as the focus of a new one. Accordingly, ShopWithYourFriends offers a B2B, white-label version for online clothing retailers. Retailers can integrate ShopWithYourFriends into their website by embedding a small piece of code.
The parent company of ShopWithYourFriends is ChatVenture, which is based in Utrecht in the Netherlands, has eight employees and is privately funded. The company was founded in 2008.