The San Jose, Calif. operation aggregates specials, newsletters, and coupons from other online stores to help its users hunt for deals and reduce clutter in their email inboxes.
Launched in January of this year, the young site currently features material from hundreds of online stores, including Old Navy, ShoeBuy, Guess and BlueNile. When you click on the name of one of these stores, you’re taken to a catalogue of html screenshots offering discounts and advertising new products.
Some of the newsletters — identical to those the stores send out to customers over email — redirect you to the relevant part of the shop’s website; others are not interactive at all. This is the core of iStorez’s business, but the service also lets you search easily for deals connected to holidays (Election Day counts!), or within categories like beachwear or teen fashion.
By setting up an online profile, you can filter results and customize what you want to see from which stores — essentially setting up your own little shopping mall. Alternatively, you can select a personality from a list of pre-fab options like “Career Girl Carrie” and “Bargain Hunter Barb,” to see which stores and specials are called up. “Boomers Bev & Bill” would just love to get 35 percent off on a stacking set from Tupperware.com, for example. And of course, it wouldn’t be Web 2.0 if you couldn’t add your own online mall to your MySpace and Facebook profile.
Back when it first started, there was some grumbling that users couldn’t get RSS updates on their iStorez specials and newsletters. The site moved swiftly to remedy the problem, so now you can get them delivered daily to the reader of your choice. Innovative shopping sites like Kaboodle, SilkFair and Savings.com, play in the same space, but are more focused on integrating social-networking tools or developing marketplaces where users can both buy and sell.