A new web site combining shopping and social networking allows consumers to give retailers a helping hand

Keeping up to date with technology that might be of benefit to your business is a full-time job. At the same time, the tech-savvy within retailers must increasingly be in the know when it comes to the technology that their customers are using.

An explosion of devices, web sites and applications is occuring at the same time as stereotypes of who uses what are being broken down.

Take Osoyou.com, which launched this week as a beta version. It’s described as a social shopping site, the idea being that women will log on and combine shopping with socialising. Now, this sounds like something that can already be achieved in the real world. So what’s the benefit of offering it online?

After setting up a profile, users can use a drag and drop function to copy any product that they see on the site into their personal Stylefinder section of their profile. There is a massive range of products showcased on the site already, with links so consumers can also click straight through to the retailer’s site and buy them.

Users can see what others like and recommend, and they can write reviews of products. Ideally, this will uncover some hidden gems that merchandising on retailers' own sites doesn’t highlight to their target market.

The web site includes page profiles from many high street and online names, including details of the latest products added to their sites and their products rated most popular by Osoyou users. Of course, these retailers are partners of the site, so they will be aware of its potential to drive traffic and sales.

But why should retailers that aren’t involved in the site care?

Well, the site also allows customers to download the drag and drop application to their computer and then pick up images from other sites and add this to their profile too. Users can also directly upload pictures they have of their favourite purchases and make recommendations.

When your customers are also doing marketing on your behalf, it’s got to be worthwhile keeping on an eye on them.