Buy.com® Launches First-of-Its-Kind Social Shopping Platform to Enable Friends to Shop Together in Real Time Leading Online Retailer Acquires ShopTogether® Developer, DecisionStep, Inc. to Enhance Social Shopping Platform

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Buy.com, The Internet Superstore™, today announced the ShopTogether® Community, a first-of-its-kind platform that allows shoppers to "virtually" share shopping experiences in real-time, make recommendations, and chat via e-mail, instant messenger (IM) or Facebook® Connect about product features with friends and family. Results from the initial beta testing demonstrated that consumers spent significantly more time on Buy.com when shopping with their friends. To further integrate and enhance future social shopping offerings on the site, Buy.com has acquired ShopTogether technology developer DecisionStep, Inc., for an undisclosed amount.

Buy.com's ShopTogether Community overcomes the typical solitary online shopping experience and brings the communal aspects of shopping in the real world to the Internet.  As a follow-on to Buy.com's BuyTV product video segments, ShopTogether is the next step in Buy.com's goal to deliver the rich in-store experience online.  The ShopTogether Community offers an instant messenger (IM) capability directly on Buy.com to enable spontaneous engagement with friends and family.

Other features include:

  • Instant chat sessions with friends who are shopping on Buy.com and logged in through Facebook Connect
  • Integration with Twitter and other social networks
  • Simultaneous product browsing
  • Ability for shoppers to redirect a friend, with permission, to the page he/she is viewing
  • Real-time viewing of the most popular items on Buy.com
  • Private chat sessions with Buy.com Customer Service support

"Integrating social connection on Buy.com makes online shopping more engaging and fun, and we believe it will ultimately drive increased loyalty," said Neel Grover, president and CEO of Buy.com. "ShopTogether is an integral asset on the Buy.com site, and we plan to capitalize on this platform with the acquisition of the company."

A leading e-commerce solutions company specializing in interactive shopping applications, DecisionStep Inc. will continue to provide its products and services to other retailers under the Buy.com umbrella. Originally headquartered in Maryland, DecisionStep will relocate to Buy.com's Aliso Viejo campus, and members of its executive and development team will join Buy.com to continue leadership of DecisionStep's offerings.

To enjoy the social shopping experience, visit www.buy.com.

About Buy.com

With more than 18 million customers, Buy.com is a leading retail marketplace, focused on providing its customers with a great shopping experience and a broad selection of retail goods at everyday low prices. Buy.com offers millions of products in a range of categories, including consumer electronics, computer hardware and software, cell phones, books, music, DVDs, games, toys, bags, fragrance, home and outdoor, baby, jewelry, shoes, apparel and sporting goods. Founded in June 1997, Buy.com is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Buy.com is owned by Rakuten, Japan's leading Internet Company. Together, Rakuten and Buy.com represent one of the world's largest online retail marketplaces, offering consumers more than 70 million products from nearly 35,000 merchants around the globe.

Buy.com® and The Internet Superstore™ are trademarks of Buy.com Inc.

About DecisionStep

DecisionStep helps online businesses succeed by providing hosted, innovative solutions that let consumers make better decisions faster. DecisionStep's revolutionary application called ShopTogether provides real-time, social interaction to shoppers so they can be part of each other's web experience and decision-making process, increasing order value and buyer conversion for retailers.  

SOURCE Buy.com



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