TurnTo’s mission is to socialize online commerce. We build applications that combine social data, commerce data, and new and old ways of communicating to help shoppers make better decisions and to improve business performance for sellers. To us, social commerce means real-world relationships and direct connections between shoppers, because relationships and connections are the foundation for trust. Our applications help shoppers discover new products, make good choices between alternatives, and find the right place to buy – which creates value for merchants as well as for customers. They are respectful of privacy, and they enable people to share their experience without becoming promoters. And all that adds a little humanity into the ecommerce world, because giving and receiving advice, exchanging ideas, and helping others also strengthen relationships.
The idea for TurnTo sprang up the fall of 2007. Our founder was helping an environmental organization with their online social strategy. As a supporter of the organization, he was eager to talk to people who wanted to learn about it. But since he didn’t bring it up in every conversation, how would anyone know to ask him? He wanted a way to help people who were interested without feeling like he was promoting the group to people who weren’t. He was particularly eager to help if it was a friend looking, and he knew more about some programs than others and preferred to answer questions related to those. So he cooked up the idea for a system that would enable people like him to register their willingness to help and would match up people looking for advice with the best advisors, based on relationship and expertise. Then, he realized a system like that could be useful to lots of organizations that sell online. And that led to TurnTo.
We hope this provides some insight into what TurnTo is all about. Please write to us and tell us what you think!