Kaboodle, the social shopping site, has launched PopPicks, a community-driven flash sale feature. Like Gilt.com, members can get access to private flash sales, short time-sensitive brand-name deals at high discounts, but like Threadless.com members get to vote on what goes on sale (press release below).

By allowing members to vote on upcoming deals, PopPicks adds an extra social twist to private flash sale clubs – which, apart from their member-get-member recruitment mechanism, are not hugely social (unlike group-buy sites offering active volume-dependant pricing).

But what we think is interesting about PopPicks is that it could prototype for other sites, of community or content variety,  looking to jump on the social commerce train. Sure, in this case, the site is Kaboodle, a social shopping site so there is a nice fit, but there is no reason why any media site – or brand site – could not implement something similar, to drive revenue and traffic.

For example, rather than hide content behind a paywall, The Times newspaper could monetize readership through flash sales for their readers.  The OC Register is already trialling this.  Or in the spirit of the Financial Times, which is free (for the moment) on the iPad, courtesy of a sponsoring brand, perhaps media sites could experiment with a flash-sales sponsored model on certain platforms.

Likewise, trade magazines like New Media Age could run business-based flash sales on business books, training courses, and conferences instead of shutting out readers.  And for brands – a flash sale feature – a la PopPicks on site – or on Facebook pages for category-related purchases and brand merchandise could provide a business rationale for vanity brochureware.

And for digital agencies and social commerce service providers, is PopPicks indicative of a new opportunity – an out-of-the flash sale Facebook app, or blog, taking the cue from Magento’s flash sale plugin)?

Press Release: Kaboodle Launches PopPicks, Community-Driven Online Fashion Sales

Retail Partners Include Moxsie, Karmaloop, Ssense, Ivy Blue and 80sPurple

SUNNYVALE, Calif., July 26 /PRNewswire/ — Kaboodle (http://www.kaboodle.com), the largest social website for passionate shoppers, today launched PopPicks, an exclusive, members-only online sale destination that allows shoppers everywhere to determine which products are offered at a special price for a limited time.

An ongoing program featuring a new retail partner each week, PopPicks features a collection of products selected by Kaboodle editors in partnership with the featured retailer. Once products are selected, the Kaboodle community is invited to “heart” (vote for) the products they like best.  After four days of voting, the most “hearted” products are made available to Kaboodle members at an exclusive price for four days or until the reserved inventory is sold out. Once the quantities of specially priced items are completely sold, Kaboodlers can still buy the product at its original price. During voting and limited-time sales, Kaboodlers can invite friends to participate via Kaboodle’s peer-to-peer messaging system as well as on e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.

Moxsie, an online fashion retailer featuring independent brands, will be the inaugural launch partner. Explaining the appeal, Julia Kung, Moxsie’s director of marketing, said, “PopPicks is a unique way for Moxsie to unveil cutting-edge merchandise to the alpha consumers who appreciate it. The reason PopPicks is so different and appealing is because it allows retailers to present an interactive experience in a participation-rampant environment. Through PopPicks, Moxsie is also able to extend its reach to a very valuable group of sophisticated shoppers in a measurable way.”

Additional participating launch partners in the coming weeks include other online fashion favorites, Karmaloop, Ssense, Ivy Blue and 80sPurple.

“As the leader in streetwear online, Karmaloop is always looking for exceptional programs that help us expand our footprint in a meaningful way,” said Natasha Chu, Karmaloop’s e-commerce manager.  “Kaboodle continues to be on the forefront of innovation when it comes to creating distinctive marketing programs that provide consumers with a unique online shopping experience.  This partnership allows us to broaden our online presence through emerging technology and tap into an increasingly important social dynamic around shopping and purchasing.”

The debut of PopPicks reinforces Kaboodle’s leadership position in social shopping as it offers a first of its kind platform that directly integrates social commerce into its online shopping community.  Shari Gunn, chief marketing officer at Kaboodle, explains, “At its core, Kaboodle has always been a way for shoppers to discover, share, and interact with products that have been vetted by other shoppers like them. This new feature extends community empowerment and amplifies their collective voice by allowing them to influence what, exactly, is featured during our exclusive sales events. It also provides an innovative e-commerce opportunity and a new revenue stream for Kaboodle.”

Initially, PopPicks will feature primarily fashion apparel and accessories. Soon Kaboodle will broaden its offering to include sought-after lifestyle brands in home, beauty and gadgets.