November 6, 2009, 12:00 AM

StyleFeeder uses geolocation to match shoppers to styles

Site search results on the social shopping site are based in part on a user’s location, as well as on preferences the consumer has previously indicated.

Social shopping site StyleFeeder.com last week enhanced its site search feature to highlight merchandise based on a user’s location. For example, search results for a consumer in Melbourne may include the locally popular Teva sandals higher up on the page, whereas the same search by a Miami resident may feature Christian Louboutins that are popular in south Florida.

Geolocation is the latest in a number of active and passive targeting measures used by Stylefeeder. Users can rate whether they’re interested in items on the site, an example of active targeting. At the same time, the site also watches how each visitor browses-namely, what she looks at and clicks on-to infer her preferences for future visits.

“In the absence of any other knowledge about a person, we used to have to treat everyone exactly the same,” says Philip Jacob, Stylefeeder founder and chief technology officer. “But with geolocation, we do know at least one thing about them-the area they’re in. That can provide us with the first idea of what they may be looking for.”

The geolocation feature is aimed at helping users quickly cull through the more than 14 million products on the site, says Jacob. “The thesis is if we can make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for, they’ll come back to our site,” he says. That makes us happy and it makes our retailer partners happy.”

Stylefeeder, which has more than 1 million registered users, features products from such retailers as Macy’s and Target.

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