Buying Blind the Future of Social Commerce?

By February 06, 2012
Little Black Bag

Knowing what you're buying can actually be pretty boring. Or at least that's what Little Black Bag thinks. This new social commerce site offers you the chance to buy a bag of goods without knowing what it contains and then exchange items with other members of the site.


At a time when most shoppers are overloaded with information, you now have the alternative option of buying blind online. You can buy a bag of women’s fashion and beauty products without knowing what’s in it, and then trade the items if you wish. This novel idea from Little Black Bag, a Californian social e-commerce site, draws inspiration from the Japanese fukubukuro ("lucky bags") concept. How it works is that shoppers fill in an interactive quiz on the e-commerce site. When they’ve done that, the site will offer them a black mystery bag whose contents have been customised in line with their answers.

A collaborative approach

Once the bag has been allocated to the shopper, s/he has a week in which to trade the items with other site members and so put together a set of products which suits them best, before having the bag finally shipped. At first sight this looks weird, since you would think people would just prefer to buy exactly what they want. But that’s exactly the behaviour that the site sets out to challenge.With Little Black Bag you have to interact with other people if you want to come out of the process satisfied. David Weissman, President and co-founder noticed that previously, with all other online “social commerce” ideas, you were in fact still “shopping by yourself”.

Online shopping a dreary experience?

Little Black Bag is a collaborative site, but seeks to be more than just that. Dan Murillo, CEO and co-founder of the site, points out that there is "a genuine void in the online fashion category for interactivity and excitement." The site has already signed over 80 top brands and select users can win "Delights" - hot seasonal products worth 4-5 times the price of their bag, which costs $59.95 for a single purchase option or $49.95 for a monthly membership. And you can really understand the Little Black Bag idea because after all as you search, nose around or watch out for the launch of the most suitable product for you, online shopping can take some of the surprise out of life.

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