As you may or may not know, Open Runway is going to take full advantage of this crowdsourcing movement and allow its shoppers the opportunity to decide what’s fashionable. In addition to the ability to create custom shoes, shoppers will be able to vote for the shoe designs they feel should be put into production. Essentially giving the crowd the ability to determine whats hot and whats not.
Crowdsourcing by definition is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call. In this case taking the decision making power away from large department stores and allowing the shoppers to decide democratically what they would want to buy. That’s the whole idea behind Join The Fashionocracy; its about letting everyone have a say in what’s fashionable.
To me it seems like this whole movement has been a long time coming. I rarely buy anything on-line these days without looking at a product rating and reading a number of customer reviews. Amazon.com is a great example of why this system works so well. They have a ton of vendors who all sell a ton of products, but the customer reviews help to ensure that you know exactly what your getting.
Now, the system isn’t always perfect. On iTunes for example, the new Miley Cyrus album will inevitably have thousands of adoring fans automatically rating it with 5 stars. I suppose it is possible Miley did actually put together a solid album deserving of 5 stars, I mean there is a guy in Virginia who was struck by lightning 7 times, but you get my point.
Anyways, crowdsourcing is the way of the future and I think more big retailers need to realize this before its too late. This is a buyers market and its time for the buyers to be heard.