These circuit board shoes from Louboutin are so amazing they make us want to run out the office door and shout in the street. How can it possibly be okay that something is so amazing and yet so completely, unattainably expensive? We don't even know how much they cost. Probably a trillion dollars.
Luckily, there are more affordable options for the geek fashion lover who enjoys circuit boards, and like any other cool fashion, design or decor theme, you can find everything you need to know about it on Pinterest, where social sharing is selling consumer goods like wildfire.
We found a decent knock-off of the Louboutin booties for $165 at Chiko Shoes, an interesting business model in its own right. They offer bespoke and prototype custom shoes through a sleek UI, as well as on-demand 3D modelling services to convert your sketch to a design file.
They also have a knockoff of the Dquared2 bone heel shoes, but we found a cheaper one here; rapid prototyping means knockoffs hit high street stores before couture customers receive their orders from the ateliers.
Another circuit board item that's all over Pinterest is the Black Milk leggings, sadly no longer available, though you can still get the swimsuit and the notably cool Geigeresque BioMechanical leggings.
Black Milk is another interesting business model enabled by Web 2.0; they sell only online, not in stores, and their products were surfaced in 2009 by social sharing- blogging and Facebook. Plus, all of their designs are geek-friendly - catnip to tech bloggers. Current designs include cool Middle Earth map leggings and hideous Legolas dresses.
Keeping up with the times, the Black Milk site has great Pin It functionality and a company Pinterest board, and there are literally a hundred Black Milk fan boards. That's a hundred consumers linking to your products over and over, for free. This excellent BizRate article on Pinterest versus Facebook conversion shows the gap widening between Facebook and Pinterest for purchase intent and actual conversions. Of course, you can track your Pinterest referrals with Google Analytics.
Black Milk makes excellent use of Instagram as well, with a gallery of Instagram user photos for each product that automatically updates with a hashtag for the product. However, Instagram may be a sticky wicket in the near future, with the Jan. 16 changes in their user agreement (the "suicide note") and celebrity boycotts.
Etsy is also making clever use of Pinterest. A simple widget codes your pin from Etsy so that the price of the item appears in a banner and the seller name in the label along with a link to their store and the Etsy logo. If you don't want price tags cluttering your beautiful pinboard, simply deleting the dollar sign removes the banner.
A year ago there were two circuit prints on Spoonflower, the on-demand custom fabric-printing site where users upload images to be printed on fabric. Now there are 40. And when you pin from Spoonflower, a widget adds the product name and Spoonflower user name - though no logo or link. Catch up, Spoonflower! Attribution is the biggest conversion roadblock on any social site.
There's so much cool stuff out there, and finding it gets easier all the the time.
Online shopping has come a long way in a little while. Ultimately, we love Web 2.0 social selling because we love cool stuff and new business models that allow personalization for users and success for independent artists, and we don't mind if other people have the same cool stuff. A rising tide lifts all the boats!