Social Commerce

From Beach to Savitt: Social Commerce Coming Home to Yahoo!?

Literary critiques of Molière aside, Yahoo! can lay claim to coining the term “social commerce”. Back in 2005, David Beach a product manager for ‘Yahoo! Shopping’ launched ‘Pick Lists’ and ‘Shoposphere’ and cited these – in a post – as examples of what he dubbed ‘social commerce’ – made up of the online ‘community of shoppers’ sharing product information and advice.

  • Yahoo! Shoposphere –  “a place to discover interesting and cool products thematically arranged into Pick Lists by other shoppers” via a “product stream” (something Pinterest may yet become)
  • Yahoo! Pick Lists – “online lists of products on any topic”, allowing users to “share their knowledge about products they’ve researched for the benefit of the community. Anyone can view a Pick List in the Shoposphere, rate it, and comment on it. What we like most is that Pick Lists show off the ‘long tail’ of shopping search.”
Of course, social commerce has evolved in the last seven years and now includes the full range of tools for helping people share where they shop and shop where they share, and according to some – even more than that – encompassing consumer-guided innovation and inventory.

But given that Yahoo! pioneered social commerce, it’s interesting that Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer has just appointed Kathy Savitt, former CEO of the discounts-for-shares social commerce outfit Lockerz, as Chief Marketing Officer for Yahoo!

With her background in commerce (Amazon and American Eagle Outfitters), will the appointment of Kathy Savitt represent a new social commerce turn for Yahoo!? Is social commerce coming home to Yahoo!?


Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

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