Former Yahoo! Executives Launch New Social Shopping Platform That Combines Advanced Targeting, Group Recommendations and Supply Chain Integration

Evolution of Online Private Sales, Group Discounts and Daily Deals From Supply-Driven to Demand-Driven Model
Detailed Customer Preference Analysis Combined with Supplier Data Integration Delivers Better Consumer Shopping Experience
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – RowNine announced the launch of a new technology-driven social shopping platform that aims to change the supply focused approach of the rapidly growing social commerce space, including online private sales, group discounts and daily deals, to a demand focused model that provides a better shopping experience for consumers. The platform will combine advanced targeting of user preferences, a recommendation engine, and the industry’s first real-time supply chain integration with suppliers. The announcement comes as social commerce has been identified as one of the top “megatrends” in technology with the ability to drastically alter traditional e-Commerce.

The model of the currently popular social commerce sites focuses on a supply-side approach where they secure discounted deals on merchandise or services which they communicate to their members via mass emailings. This has led to a high level of invasive and untargeted communications that have turned off many customers shortly after the novelty of the services wears off. These social commerce companies also have an inefficient manual process in the way they work with suppliers, which typically involves telephone conversations and “swapping spreadsheets” to arrange sales.

“Currently, the largest online private sale operators have vertically integrated organizations where they have a manual process to purchase merchandise from brands, retailers and distributors,” said Lawrence Kosick, CEO of RowNine and a former Yahoo! vice president. “Since many now own the inventory, they have significant overhead costs in warehousing, marketing and fulfillment. They have to blast out a lot of untargeted email to move that inventory. Our technology integration with large distributors, combined with our consignment-based model where merchandise is entirely drop-shipped by the distributors, enables us to operate a lean model that can scale much more efficiently.”

On the consumer side, the new RowNine technology platform will consist of a preference matching engine that integrates customer stated preferences, such as brand and product category preferences, to deliver notifications only for relevant offers. This is done both through a user created profile questionnaire as well as through a Pandora-like process of preference indication. When perusing offers and merchandise on the RowNine Website, customers can give a “thumbs up” to build their preference profile.

In addition to the preference matching engine, RowNine is also launching a new recommendation engine that combines a shopper’s clickstream and purchase history analysis as well as group matching with customers with similar interests. Customers will also have the ability to single click publish their purchases as well as share and recommend the products they like via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“The number of marketing e-mails I receive every day from online retailers is overwhelming, and much of it is for merchandise that I would never buy,” said Eugene Boccia, an online private sale shopper. “There must be a better way to receive only emails with offers that interest me. I love the recommendation capabilities of Netflix and Pandora, and I look forward to the similar capabilities that RowNine is releasing today.”

On the supplier side, RowNine is implementing the industry’s first real-time, web-based supply chain integration platform that will provide it with unprecedented visibility and access into some of the largest distributors of inventory in the U.S. This capability will enable RowNine to match hundreds of brands and thousands of products with customers based on each individual’s specific preferences. This level of integration has never been implemented before in the online private sale channel and will provide a diverse pipeline of products, including some categories that have never been sold through the private sale channel.

About RowNine

RowNine ( is a social commerce company that uses technology to combine advanced targeting, group recommendations and supply chain integration to provide consumers with a better experience in shopping for online offers. Through direct data integration with some of the world’s largest distributors, RowNine has access to great deals on hundreds of brands and thousands of products. It can finely target these offers to its customers based on their stated preferences and a sophisticated recommendation engine. RowNine was founded by former Yahoo! executives, Lawrence Kosick and Ned Taylor. For more information about RowNine, visit them online at: or @RowNine.