To allow users to purchase attire from their news feeds, Verishop Inc. introduced a new social eCommerce app. The offering brings together the functions of an online shopping website that Verishop rolled out in 2019 with a digital app that works similar to TikTok and Pinterest, Bloomberg reported.
The platform, which will receive a portion of sales made through the service in lieu of ads, will have over 600 brands, such as Madewell and Hill City apparel and Oribe hair care products. It will also showcase culinary, fashion and interior design influencers.
Imran Khan, who leads the startup and served as an executive for Snap Inc. in the past, said past social shopping companies were too geared on the fun parts at first instead of creating the complex groundwork, Bloomberg reported. His company, however, flipped the strategy on its head as it made an eCommerce website initially with complimentary returns as well as two-day shipping.
"People said, ‘What are you doing? It sounds like a boring eCommerce company,’” he said, according to Bloomberg. “But we wanted to make sure that we get the boring parts right. And then focus on the fun part.”
The pandemic, for its part, has closed a number of malls and physical retail locations. Consumers have turned to online shopping platforms and social media sites, and Verishop aims to capture a portion of the heightened digital business.
The news comes as Instagram plans its own shopping features. Head Adam Mosseri aims to “connect the dots thoughtfully” between shoppers, sellers and influencers on the app. The goal is to unlock value by launching functions such as “native checkout.” But the shopping initiative is a plan for the long haul and would require technology.
The executive pointed out that buyer protection functions and inventory systems management integration would need to be implemented. But he unveiled a vision that would have the social media company go into the territory of Amazon’s or Alibaba’s marketplace — and even possibly that of “super apps.”