Gilt Groupe’s New Live Stream Allows Shoppers to Spy on What Others Are Buying

Curious what other people are buying?

A new feature called Gilt Live is launching today on Gilt.com, the New York-based flash sales site for women’s and men’s apparel — it lets you spy, in real time, on other people’s carts (anonymously, of course).

The feature enables members of the site to see a livestream of what is being purchased at that exact moment.

Admittedly, the concept is not earth-shattering, but it offers a fun new way to shop — and can be very mesmerizing.

Originally, flash sales sites offered a small selection of items, making it easy to see everything on sale. But as the sites have become more mainstream, Gilt and others have increased their inventory, making it more difficult to quickly see everything for sale.

Gilt Live brings back some some of the spontaneity of the flash sales shopping experience. Instead of clicking through a multitude of menus and browsing categories on the site to see if anything is of interest, the live option provides a stream of product images flowing down your screen — about 130 unique items per minute.

One second, you may see men’s boxer briefs; the next minute, it could be a pair woman’s jeans — and then, finally, your eye catches the perfect swimsuit. Or not.

While I don’t believe it was intentional, Gilt Live is a bit like Pinterest, where users are inadvertently “pinning” their favorite items to the page by simply making purchases. It’s also similar to a feature on Fab.com called Feed, which shows a list of things bought or liked by people around the Web (but it has to be manually refreshed).

If the person watching the stream would like to buy the product, all they have to do is click on the image. Additionally, users will be able to pause and resume the flow in case they want more time to view the products. People watching the live feed can choose to see everything that is currently being purchased, or filter it by one of four categories: Women, men, babies and kids or home.

Gilt Live can be accessed at live.gilt.com. It will also also appear as a tab on the main page.

Gilt has launched a number of cool, yet somewhat frivolous innovations. For example, its food division, Gilt Taste, recently released a free iPad app that allows you to turn the pages of the recipe without touching the screen — to avoid mucking up your high-end tablet.


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