In the last several years there has been a trend where personal media outlets ( blogs, twitter feeds, youtube channels ) are starting to outperform traditional media outlets and websites. The web has become alive, and with equal access to cheap content generating tools, content and personal flare have helped certain indy channels thrive.
The next trend I am observing is that these same personal programming channels are expanding into e-commerce / e-retailing. I frequently visit http://www.thisiscolossal.com for their careful curation of art / creative news, and I was surprised to see they opened up a store. Although this seemed odd at first, its a logical progression for content curators. Why stop at curating and reviewing content if you can give people the option to buy those same items and take a cut. I have observed many influential bloggers sponsor bundles on fab, or quarterly, and even have their own branded channel on opensky. And thus we enter the Rise of Personal Storefronts where everyone becomes a prosumer.
All the traditional factors of customer loyalty, the right prices, and great product selection exist, but the only main differentiators become trust and human connection. Also certain things I would rather buy from certain organizations. I do trust a handful of bloggers with my daily news, but I am not sure I would want to buy vitamins from them. What is the future of stores on Facebook ? Or instant deals on Twitter? But I am very optimistic on how this new trend will push innovation and inspire new models of creating content accompanied by related items that I might like. However, I am also aware that this might create a awareness bias of outlets where the pressure to sell vs. write news articles could shift the culture and identity of the outlets I came to trust.
And then there might be certain companies like Pinterest who if slightly altered their business model, could be one of the largest curated stores on the planet. I would imagine the personal endorsement of products with a trusted layer of delivery and procurement could be the future of how we buy things online.
Only time will tell.