Verishop = Pinterest + Instagram + TikTok
The idea of online shopping has long revolved around visiting e-commerce websites, searching for products, or exploring categories. It is an ideal system for people who know what they want to buy, but not so much for those who don't. Now, to change this, former executives from Snap and Amazon are bringing 'Verishop', an e-commerce app with a new 'social shopping' experience. Here's more.
A platform to bring joy back to online shopping
Co-founded by Snap's former Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan and his wife, a former SVP at Amazon's Quidsi, Cate Khan, Verishop is an e-commerce platform that debuted over a year ago. It launched as a site with the goal of bringing "joy back to online shopping" and becoming the home for branded products, especially those from up-and-coming brands.
Now, Verishop is moving into the social-shopping category
Verishop started off with what looked like another e-commerce website, but during this one year, the company focused on the most essential elements for a business of this kind: a great selection, fast and free deliveries/returns, best prices, and an easy customer support system. Now, after building out the foundation, it is innovating for the 'fun' part and venturing into the social shopping category.
But, how the social experience works?
Verishop has launched a new iOS app, where you can explore a feed of photos and videos, pretty much like TikTok or Pinterest. You can explore (view, save, follow) the content, and if anything in those posts is interesting or inspiring enough, you may click through and shop the exact same or similar product right away.
Feed shows product based on content you like, says Khan
"We are bringing discovery and entertainment to the forefront of our iOS app with a new social media-inspired feed of photos and videos that recommends products based on the content you like," Imran Khan said in a statement.
Computer vision produces content to buy
Khan says Verishop is using computer vision technology and its own shopping recommendations engine to make feed posts shoppable across content ranging from lifestyle and e-commerce photos to educational and entertaining videos. "For example," he explains, "a how-to cooking video can show you the Dutch oven she's cooking with, as well as the jumpsuit she's wearing." You may then proceed and buy those items.
Select brand, influencer posts currently appear in feed
As of now, the Verishop's feed presents photos and videos from certain brand partners as well as select style experts and influencers (remember Instagram?). However, moving ahead, they plan to open this experience to all Verishop shoppers, letting them add their own photos and videos featuring products bought from the store. This, Khan hopes, will eventually make online shopping fun, entertaining, and inspiring.
It is like window shopping but personal, Khan adds
"Our new app is like window shopping at your favorite mall or shopping strip but made personal. You are there to spend some time, get inspired, and shop with confidence and convenience. It's that mix of entertainment and commerce that we're taking digital."
Social shopping has not taken off yet
Verishop's approach is unique, but the execution will matter the most. There have been several failed social shopping attempts in the past, including one from Amazon. Separately, Facebook and Instagram are also making progress in the space. Instagram's dedicated 'Shop' tab in Explore has already been around for a while, letting users shop from photos and videos appearing on the service.