With social-networking sites like Twitter, users can update their followers on what they're doing at any second. Now one entrepreneur hopes to enable shoppers to automatically broadcast what purchases they've just made using his new service.
The service, called Blippy, allows users to connect their credit or debit cards to a Blippy account so their "friends" get immediate updates on their latest purchases. Friends see the updates as "[User's name] spent $X at X retailer." The service is in beta, with testers using it to tell others about items they've bought on Amazon and iTunes. However, Blippy co-founder Philip Kaplan hopes shoppers begin using the service next year to tell friends about any purchase they make anywhere.
"The idea is that most Americans have two or three credit cards in their wallets," Kaplan tells reporters. "You sign one of them up to be the social card; it's connected to the site. The other cards you keep private. If I use my public card at a Starbucks, for instance, all my friends know that I'm at the Starbucks and they can come and see me, or whatever."
Like Facebook, users can choose "friends" to share their purchases with, and they decide which purchases on their "public" card their friends will see. Then friends can comment and rate transactions.
Shoppers can use the service to find deals by comparing prices of items their friends bought—and it could also help marketers target the right audiences since they'll be able to see what users are buying, Kaplan notes.
While Kaplan has not decided on a revenue model for Blippy, he is considering several, he says, but he's more focused on making Blippy as user-friendly as possible.
"It's just another way of saying, 'Here's what I'm doing,' or 'Here's where I am,' or 'Here's a band I'm really into'—obviously, because I just bought five of their albums," he says.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.