bought online auction phenomenon Woot today, and given the relative sizes of the companies, it can only be a move made with long-term Amazon strategy in mind. Earlier this afternoon we wrote about the deal as a victory for freaks and a marriage of light- and heavy-weight supply chains, but there's something else going on here, too.Shopping giant Amazon
Woot is bringing real-time social shopping to Amazon. We pinged ReadWriteWeb reader Michael Vorel, the CEO of commerce, Internet marketing and consulting company Vastplanet for a brief comment, and he argued that this was a competitive move against the coming media convergence that will pit Amazon against TV shopping networks.
"It's an excellent move by Amazon. Amazon needed something that was real-time shopping, in the sense of a QVC or HSN [Home Shopping Network]. It gives Amazon the opportunity to tie together with existing retailers into a daily special. With the infrastructure and connections Amazon has, it could tap into these two communities to offer better pricing and a more successful operation.Compete says Woot got 2.2 million unique visitors in May. Facebook referred 10.5% of that traffic, so it extends far out into social media.""The emergence of social shopping is evident in Woot, very similar to the special of the day on HSN. Amazon is looking for unique properties that fit the social shopping model that they can bring under their umbrella.
"Compete says Woot got 2.2 million unique visitors in May. Facebook referred 10.5% of that traffic, so it extends far out into social media.
"I think what we're going to see from Woot is, we'll see more interesting products roll through and maybe a hint of more categories per day. You could have a channel where you had it by category, Mens items, Women's items, etc. That would allow a lot more people to play within Woot and a lot more money to be made.
"The products they [Woot] are selling are so slim margin, they needed to look at other ways to make money. Someone like Amazon could look at behavioral learning techniques, they could learn how to serve those people. I think it's very interesting that both Zappos and Woot were big social media ecommerce companies and both were acquisitions."
That sounds like a pretty smart take on the deal to me. Woot says it will maintain its functional independence, but there's got to be some cultural cross-pollination in the plans. As media convergence brings Amazon into direct competition with at-home TV shopping, what better way to gear up than with one of the new geniuses of real-time social shopping, Woot?