Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Retail Site Harnesses Consumers' Likes

Building off the rocketing popularity of Pinterest, a new online recommendation site called Wisemarkit allows users to get a cut of the action when someone buys a product they endorsed. The site’s founders hope to drive sales through shopper-to-shopper buzz.

Wisemarkit, which launched July 2, has an interface reminiscent of Pinterest and even requires new users to request an invitation to set up an account, just as Pinterest does. Once an account is open, the user can recommend up to 10 items by pinning pictures and descriptions on a profile page. If somebody clicks through to purchase one of the items, Wisemarkit not only shares the revenue with the recommender but also awards points that can be redeemed to upgrade the profile page with additional features.

At present, Wisemarkit only sources merchandise through Amazon Affiliates and Shopsense programs, but intends to start signing up retail establishments soon, according to a Fast Company report. Retailers could also create accounts applauding their top sellers or hot, new arrivals. A ranking function will also show how many recommendations a product has garnered.

Why restrict accounts to just 10 recommendations at any given time and not an unlimited number? Wisemarkit thinks account-holders will only vouch for those products they really like, which in turn will generate more click-through sales.

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