nicolas leroy

Personalized shopping search experience at TheFind through advanced integration of Facebook Like

September 19, 2010

(New job, side projects, recovered capacities to go hiking… That explains while I’m a bit late in the blogging game these days…)

In this month of September, the most exciting news in the CSE world is coming from TheFind. Early September, TheFind has announced a new set of social features, as a kind of follow-up to its July release. It’s fascinating to see how the social features and the tight-up with Facebook are progressing release after release on TheFind, especially after having read “The Inside Story of How One Company Didn’t Mine Facebook”, an article by Wired delivering hints at how TheFind initially planned to roll out an advanced integration with Facebook.

So what’s in this new release? A more advanced integration of the Facebook Like button to like brands and stores, that enables a greater level of personalization in the search results. From the press release:

[…] people can log into TheFind using Facebook to see personalized search results based on the stores and brands they’ve connected to across the Web by clicking the Facebook ‘Like’ button. Shoppers will benefit from search results that more closely mirror their tastes along with the capability to see which stores and brands their friends like. Likes will only be shared when a person takes the explicit action of clicking the Like button, giving shoppers complete control over what is shared with friends.
The login with Facebook feature allows people to easily use their Facebook information to establish an account on TheFind and quickly personalize their shopping searches.  Once an item, such as a brand or a store, is liked – whether that like occurs on TheFind, Facebook or elsewhere on the Web – that like becomes part of both the person’s shopping profile on TheFind and their personal profile on Facebook.  For shoppers, the use of likes to quickly create a shopping profile makes it easy to filter relevant products through a social lens. As with other instances of the like button, when a shopper likes a brand, that brand can publish updates and deals directly to the shopper’s News Feed, spreading what is being dubbed “Like Love
“The Like button provides a lightweight way to endorse items across the web, providing value to both consumers and retailers,” said Siva Kumar, CEO of TheFind. “A customized experience based on what you’ve liked means you can quickly narrow nearly 50,000 results for ‘short black dress’ down to just a few dozen from your favorites; similarly, knowing that your friend likes a specific designer or boutique can influence your purchase in a way that is both personal and inherently social.”
“From a brand and retailer’s perspective, ‘Like Love’ takes the Facebook Like feature to another level,” said Julie Bornstein, SVP of Sephora. “Not only does it strengthen TheFind as a resource for sending us qualified shopping traffic, but it gives new customers confidence in trying our brand when they see that their friends like us, and it also provides another destination where we can gather new ‘likes’ and spread the Sephora network further.

The new ability to like brand and store is preeminent in the updated offer display, maybe too preeminent – there is a real challenge to fit so many information for a single offer, plus the “Facebook Like” vs the custom “Save” option that sounds a bit confusing… The “Shop my favorite stores” introduced in the July release has been renamed into “Shop Like Me” to add the ability to search by favorite stores and favorite brands.

For now, the new social capabilities of TheFind are unmatched in the CSE world and show the potential of the Facebook social graph… In the next weeks or months, it will be interesting to compare this approach with the integration of the new Hunch API announced this week on Milo and ShopStyle shopping engines…

Revamped offer display with Facebook Like option on brand and store

Offer display at TheFind (Sep'10)

Personalized search result page, with ability to choose brands or stores you like

Personalized search result page at TheFind (Sep'10)