Type in "shoes" and you can easily be overwhelmed by the the avalanche of options that Google returns. Retailers have noticed, and are now offering a more tailored online shopping experience. At a dozen new sites like Just Fabulous, JewelMint, or ShoeDazzle, shoppers first take a short style quiz, agree to pay a monthly fee, and then start receiving exclusive offers on items cultivated to match their fashion sensibilities.
At JewelMint, users pay a monthly fee of $29.95 and are presented with a limited selection of merchandise at periodic intervals. And according to Kate Bosworth, the celebrity face of the site, "the idea of harnessing search for different, sought-after things on the Internet is really the new frontier."
Of course, using algorithms to better understand consumer preferences is nothing new, but this growing breed of online shopping club combines the reoccurring revenue model with private e-commerce sale sites like Groupon with a dash of old fashioned personalized attention.
Remember the saleswoman who always knew what color of lipstick your grandmother preferred? I do.