Shop sample sales on Facebook

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Online sample sale website HauteLook has partnered with social networking community Facebook to launch a special shopping application that debuts Tuesday (November 23).

Flash sale websites, which offer high-end labels up to 75 percent off original retail value, have traditionally operated on a members-only model. By alerting members of upcoming events via email notifications, sites like HauteLook, Editor's Closet and Rue La La have been able to preserve the feeling of exclusivity inherent to luxury labels, as well as to convey the rush of a designer sample sale.

But HauteLook's latest venture will offer a different model: "In-stream" shopping from Facebook's News Feed. Though shoppers will still have to register with HauteLook to buy sale items, they will not have to log out of Facebook to make a purchase. Instead, they will be able to browse, buy and share items without ever leaving the platform. Users will need to "Like" the HauteLook page in order to access the new feature. Once they are a member of HauteLook on Facebook, they can browse sale events on a dedicated "Shop" tab.

"Our members spend one-third of their online time on Facebook. So we know that getting out of the e-mail inbox is going to be crucial for the flash-sale business," Adam Bernhard, chief executive of the company, told The New York Times. "This is designed to go where the shoppers are instead of where they come to shop."

For the premiere of HauteLook Events on Facebook, the company has partnered with natural skin and beauty line Carol's Daughter, as well as fashion brands BCBG and Diane von Furstenbuerg.

HauteLook may be the first online sample sale website to debut a shop-within-a-shop on Facebook, but its direct competitor Gilt Groupe offers Facebook members a chance to preview sales one hour before they go live on the main website. Gilt's "Facebook store" application went live this past July.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/hautelook

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