Get.com: A New Take on e-Commerce
With all the talk around discovery sites these days, and especially Pinterest, there’s a site out there trying to do something subtly different in the e-commerce space, and it has a great domain name: www.get.com. “Get” is a platform for people to search for items and have crowd-sourced and curated ratings for those items. It may sound like Amazon, but Get will also pull out users’ interests and try to provide “newsfeeds” for users that are tailored to their tastes. I have to admit that I’m *always* skeptical of the next startup trying to replicate a feed-like feel, though I always try to keep an open mind. Another feature allows users to ask questions about products and get specific answers back. I’d imagine it would work best for purchases that aren’t rushed or time-sensitive. In this sense, Get provides product search (like Amazon, by grabbing prices across big sites) along with product discovery (with their feed and Q&A), though they have a long way to go, and the site will need to be redesigned, though today’s shell looks a lot like Quora. The URL alone could be quite valuable to this startup, which has raised angel funding and is mainly focused on finding and encouraging user-generated content. As a business, aside from earning affiliate revenues on any sales Get.com drives, or advertising, or proprietary research it provides, it would have to transform fundamentally to rival a nimble business such as Amazon. That said, Amazon is very much an intent-based product site, and while they use data to try to surface recommendations, they too may experiment with more social features such as feeds or tickers. I wouldn’t put anything past Amazon, which I believe will continue to grow its power. Finally, perhaps the biggest hurdle for a site like Get.com is to get the marketplace economics correct, namely to encourage users to ask questions and leave reviews where there’s virtually no direct financial incentive. I’m not sure if Get.com can break through the noise and steal even a slice of attention away from Amazon, but given how fast discovery platforms are taking off today, I wouldn’t be surprised.