Any adept of event shopping (Vente-Privée, Gilt, Groupon) will know that ‘social shopping spam’ is a becoming a real pain. Inboxes are getting bunged up with a barrage of random and impersonal deal notifications with little relevance.
Enter RowNine, a new site from ex-Yahoo execs Lawrence Kosick and Ned Taylor, a private member-get-member flash sales club that personalizes the offers it sends you. It’s pitched as a Pandora for Flash Sales – broadcasting deals based on your tastes.
It’s a compelling idea – and “Personalization” (along with “Aggregation”) is very much the buzzword of the moment… And indeed, when users sign up for RowNine (it’s not hugely private), they do get to personalize the flash sales to which they’d like to be invited – signing up by product category (brands to come later). An additional level of personalization is offered; members get to personalize how they receive invites (Twitter, Facebook or Email (no RSS)). But, it seems that unless you choose to be notified by email, the flash sale feed you get is not yet personalized. Hopefully this will be updated soon.
The big challenge for RowNine will be to build membership numbers – there’s no shortage of event shopping sites competing for members, and new event shopping aggregators such as Yipit and DealRadar (for local deals), and MyNines (for online flash sales) are popping up.
Ultimately, membership numbers will depend on the degree to which RowNine will be able to secure remarkable inventory at remarkable prices. Remark-ability is what drives the member-get-member model