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Merchants need help when managing the new landscape of commerce. With consumers discussing brands and products on social networking sites, for better and worse, businesses need help on presenting their goods and services in the appropriate context online.

A startup focused on helping merchants manage the social web just raised a round of venture capital.

Today's online retail marketplace is one that is in constant shift. Shoppers are turning to the advice and recommendations of their friends and family. Fueled by easy access to service such as Facebook and Twitter, shoppers often ping each other regarding stores and goods inside those stores, asking about price, reliability and other factors that help us shape our shopping choices.

But social commerce hasn't crossed the line to traditional social networks. That is, the mass public sees Facebook as a place to connect with friends and family, not to conduct shopping.

Buyers Frequently Connecting Online

Sociable Labs is a hosted offering to merchants that helps online retailers increase referral traffic and sales. The service delivers and measures commerce metrics such as traffic, conversion rates and sales for retailers via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. In short, Sociable Labs' products allow retailers to socialize buyers' opinions and then help suggest products based on friends' advice, at the point of purchase.

How It Works

Social sharing is now a mainstream online activity. However, people are not shopping on sites such as Facebook yet. However, if we're presented with opportunities to shop in a social way, this is much more useful.

For example, when signing up for a marathon in Seattle, for example, wouldn't it be useful to see if anyone in your social circle has stayed in a hotel in that city and then use a booking site to secure a room at that specific hotel?

Sociable Labs' client list includes Active.com, Chegg.com, Backcountry.com, Rue La La, Hautelook and Sole Society.