Copious wants users to feel secure with their buying decisions and for that reason the company has decided to leverage the Facebook social graph so buyers can learn a little bit about their sellers via their Facebook accounts.
The site works just like Craigslist, eBay and other person-to-person selling communities, allowing visitors to search for and ultimately buy products, however where the site differs is there use of social media integration which shares publicly available information about sellers with their buyers.
The moment visitors log onto the Copious home page they are required to log onto the website using their Facebook ID and ONLY their Facebook ID.
Speaking with Fast Company site co-founder Jonathan Enrlich, who use to be the head of Facebook marketing says:
“If the first wave of interpersonal interaction on the Web was characterized by aliases and anonymity, the next wave, fueled by Facebook and the push it’s made to have people use their real names online, will be about people using what Copious calls “authentic identity.”
Enrlich goes on to ad:
“It allows the buyer and seller to see each other through the lens of their network,” and “Buyers can build comfort with the sellers via the power of that connection.”
After logging on with a Facebook account users are then shown their personal page which in many ways mimics the users Facebook page, they can then choose to follow other Copious users, see a “feed list” of the people they follow and what they are buying and even check out recommendations for products based on the “interests” they have entered into Facebook.
While users could simply create a fake Facebook account for selling purposes, the system also provides “social signals” to alert users to that type of activity. For example, users can see if anyone in their network of friends knows the buyer and if anyone they know have purchased items from that Facebook user.
Copius calls their product the “people first, products second” approach which relies on real social interactions rather than selling volume and user ratings. On the Copius website users will notice a set of orange “people” bars (shown below) which demonstrate the strength of a users connection to each particular buyer.
The site has also announced a really cool features called “social pricing,” which allows sellers to offer discounts to buyers who share their selling item with friends in their network or when they choose to follow the seller.
The idea of the discount is more about allowing sellers to create a larger buying social network. Since your friends probably have some of the same interests as you the follow option and sharing options means super-targeted advertising opportunities for products offered on the website. In the most basic of terms, the discounts offered to buyers who share information are returned in the form of super-targeted advertising.
Finally, Copious allows buyers and sellers to have conversations with one another, past buyers and other Copious users, creating a new conversation platform on top of traditional systems such as eBay which puts all of the power to converse in the hands of the seller. Users can share info about a product, talk about a seller or just connect based on interests, creating a much more dynamic and user friendly eCommerce platform.
The site is still small, featuring approximately 50 vendors, many of whom are selling handbags, however the project is led by a capable team and Copious is receiving great press at the moment which should help bring other sellers and buyers onboard.
The site is still in Beta mode and many more features and tweaks are expected as the program matures.
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