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NETIFY

Description:

“Match.com for Shopping.”  For online retailers who want to increase sales, NETIFY is a tool for creating real-time recommendation networks that match customers to provide social incentives to try new products.  Unlike Amazon.com, recommendations do not come from a statistical engine, but from real people with personalities and histories who provide social encouragement to try new options. 

 

Inventor

Damon Centola (http://ndg.asc.upenn.edu/

 

Problem

Online networks today are centered on primarily one of two premises, either a social network of “people you may know” or “customers who bought this item also bought…” recommendations. A key component missing from these networks is the person who is most similar to you as a consumer. As the ecommerce market has continued to grow, valued at $1.25 trillion dollars worldwide and $262 billion in the U.S. in 2013, retailers are constantly looking for ways set themselves apart from the competition.

 

Solution

NETIFY is a mobile social network that delivers live, real-time social networks in any online context to consumers.  The social networking algorithm constructs networks of shoppers based on a range of characteristics (demographic, behavioral, geographical, etc.).  The characteristics are determined by the setting – i.e. the relevant characteristics for matching clothes shoppers on Gap.com are not the same as they are for matching grocery shoppers on WholeFoods.com.  NETIFY provides the voyeuristic peek into another person’s shopping cart, allowing a customer to learn from other’s good ideas, and try them out herself.  The reason this works is that it’s all in the match.  By putting the right people together, we can create the right influences.

  

Advantages

•       Relies on social context of users, not products

•       No need to search for people relevant to the user

•       Real-time connection

 

Applications

•       Online retailers

•       Grocery stores

•       Financial services

•       Healthcare 

 

Stage of Development

•       Prototype in development

   

Reference Media

Centola, D Science, 2010 Sep 3; 329(5996): 1194-7

Centola, D Science, 2011 Dec 2; 334(6060): 1269-72

van der Leij, MJ Science, 2011 Dec 2; 334(6060): 1220-1

Zhang, J et. al., Prev Med Rep. 2015; 2: 651-657  and Social Network Influence Video

 

Desired partnerships

• License

Co-development

 

Download PDF

 

Docket #  15-7251 


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Melissa Kelly
Associate Director, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
215-898-9877
kellymel@upenn.edu
Inventors:
Damon Centola
Keywords:
Computer
Information
Internet