CEO, Interrupted: LiveShopping (aka Worldwide Wooting)

by Matt Rutledge

Hey, who put this chicken body on me here.

As many of you know, Woot and our business model have enjoyed some nice attention in the US since our 2004 site launch. The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Dallas Morning News, LA Times, NPR, and hundreds of TV affiliates, magazines and radio stations have covered various aspects of Woot, our community, and the business model. It’s certainly now a cottage industry we enjoy watching, with semi-regular launch and success stories from similarly modeled sites and related ventures. At this point it’s safe to say millions in the US (well beyond our 1.4 million members) are familiar with Woot and it’s daily deal peers. (I cannot mention this without marveling at the power of word of mouth and thanking folks for their support.)

What is less covered or shared around domestically are related commerce developments outside the US. How has the daily-deal approach been applied in other countries. Who are the players? Are they having success? Are there fresh innovations to consider?

A quick aside: I do receive regular inquiries on our ability and interest in launching International Woot sites, either directly or through partnership. My standard response is to help describe the localized logistics needs and sourcing pressure while assuring those interested that the business model itself is public domain. We’re supportive and of course interested observers, except for the occasional direct rip-offs of our text and design.  It's just premature for us to go international via product or brand involvement while we focus on our retail and wholesale US development.

For starters, I’ve been enjoying and pondering the emergent likely-German-coined term “Liveshopping” which nicely needs little English translation and appears in use both separated and hyphenated despite German Kombinieren-geschick. I believe we first saw this term just over a year and a half ago – perhaps originating on the German ecommerce blog exciting ecommerce (also with partial manually translated US-version here http://www.excitingcommerce.com/). I’d love to know the actual origins of the term.

While some sites like Exciting Ecommerce offer English language versions of their content, it’s good to have handy Yahoo’s Babelfish (thx centexman) or Google’s Translate. Plug in a full url in to get entire pages auto-translated – here’s the above Exciting Ecommerce german blog’s robust Woot category google translated (wow!)

Oh – here’s an international Woot mention that doesn’t need translation: Enjoy video of the Amazing Joel (shirt.woot joel) and Matthew (podcaster, illustrator and writer matthew) slaving away in our St. Louis office, as noticed by the blog at liveshopping-aktuell yesterday. (also, their FAQ page has a good live shopping definition, google translated here not to mention an aggregated live shop list I’ve yet to peruse)

I’d love to have your help looking around and sharing links about the worldwide daily-deal arena – please share your observations and findings in the comments.

Do you have a worldwide Liveshopping story or liveshop link to share? What do you think of the descriptor “Live Shopping” / “Live Shop” (combined or not) potential as American-English terms? Is it a bit awkward a phrasing to catch on here or will it make the leap and be adopted? Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to lend itself to portmanteau very well like Blog evolved or Wikipedia employed, but then neither does “One Day, One Deal.”

P.S. We would be delighted to have inbound commentary in any language – our moderators will just have to sweat a bit. And remember international shirt.woot shipping is now available to 45+ countries on both daily and pre-reckoned designs. Weniger als 10 Euro einschließlich Fracht! (cheap!) Danke für Ihre Unterstützung.

Auf Wiedersehen
matt

previous entries:
CEO, Interrupted: Take your protein pills (and put your helmet on)
CEO, Interrupted: Snapster’s unfortunate alter ego