Contextual shopping widgets — mostly targeted at bloggers or people with social network profiles (see my previous write-up on Facebook Apps) — will quickly become a commodity, but I believe the early movers will gain an advantage both in mind share and insight into what works and what doesn’t. Wize has made this early move.
Wize is the CSE that pulls together product reviews and calculates a standard rating — their offering is a TypePad-only widget aimed at bloggers who want to make some money. I think TypePad-only is a mistake, but I also bet that this is an early experiment and more options will come down the road. The widget installation page says this much, albeit somewhat vaguely.
It’s an affiliate model widget that will match products up to content on your blog, the rev split being 50/50.
To me, Wize is compelling because it engenders a certain level of trust by scraping reviews from across the Web, drawing you into a purchase.
This same idea applies to the widgets, which applies the review technology — displaying a ranking on the products that Wize determines are most relevant to the post.
It’s a bit buried and I put into the Wize grapevine that the widget should be strongly promoted on the front page — I think it’s essential to traction. We shall see!
Overall, I think it’s a good foray and I’m excited to see how it grows + generates revenue.