Monday, July 19, 2010

Digital Influentials Volume 2, Issue 8: Show THEM The Money!

Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise immortalized the phrase, “Show Me The Money” in one of Cameron Crowe’s timeless masterpieces, Jerry Maguire. That scene has been used in various iterations for many different purposes since it was first spoken, but today I wanted to you use it by featuring some of the businesses that are doing an excellent job of getting consumers to spend their well-earned dough. This is the shopping-centric issue of The Digital Influentials!

Consumers spend money. That’s a fact. The economy will fluctuate. It will rise and fall and ebb and flow, but the constant is that people are consumers and consumers spend money. Our entire culture is based on capitalism and the flow of consumer goods. When you watch TV and a celebrity wears a brand, that brand sees a bump in sales. If Oprah says something good about your brand, you’re off to the races. The development of a brand takes time, but it’s the brand that sells products.

The sites we uncovered the past few weeks are utterly amazing in their ability to influence consumers, push products, build and/or translate brands and generate revenue! They all perform special services, each slightly different from the rest, and they’re all generating buzz, harnessing the power of social media, and achieving success in an environment where even the most consumery of consumers are keeping a close eye on their wallets and purses. Let’s see how they’re doing it, shall we?

First off, you can’t mention shopping today without mentioning THE GILT GROUP ( Gilt offers a series of invitation only (invitation through referrals) sales for well-recognized brands and the stuff they have is great. There are daily specials, weekly specials and specials that you may have missed because they were “after hours”. I was referred and started buying in just 4 days, and I know others are too!

If you like the idea of a “personal shopper” then you’ll love SHOP IT TO ME ( Just enter your favorite designers, your size, and the service will rummage through the web, uncovering sales and sites that have what you might want. It makes recommendations and facilitates your buying! Pretty influential, isn’t it?

Speaking of deals, have you been on Twitter lately? If you have and you like to shop, then check out CHEAP TWEET ( Cheap Tweet is a simple aggregator of deals and sales through the twitter feed. There are lots of companies offering closeout prices for inventory on Twitter and taking advantage of the immediacy of the space. Now you can too!

Sometimes the best way to save money, rather than spend it, is to share. That’s the basis for NEIGHBORGOODS ( I know this may seem a bit off subject because this issue is all about spending, but what if you could try out a product by sharing it with someone in your neighborhood before you bought it? What about going in as a group and buying a big-ticket item together? That’s sort of the basis behind this site, which turns your immediate neighborhood into an active social network for sharing real world goods!

Speaking of group buying (and just in case you live under a rock), be sure to check out GROUPON ( and HOMERUN ( Each comes at the category a little differently, but there’s almost no more buzzed-about section of the web than what these two companies are doing right now.

In the fun and exciting world of iPhones and iPads, don’t forget to check out the GILT app, the SHOPPING.COM app, the AMAZON app and the PRICEGRABBER app, to see what deals are available and products you’ll find useful. Shopping at your (literal) fingertips!

Now stop reading this column and get out there to stimulate the economy, would ya’?