For the past two years, fashion search engine company, Wantering, has been tracking its users and their buying habits – not just through its own platform but across the Internet. The data not only gives insight into how many people are buying items, but how they were shopping, whether it was for New Year’s Eve wardrobe ideas or first date inspiration. “We believe we have the top search product on the market,” Matt Friesen, Wantering’s CEO, stated.
Just a few weeks ago, Wantering decided to open the data it was collecting to their users to help make better buying decisions. “We’re bubbling up the latest and greatest, which of course, we know in fashion things come in and out of trends so quickly,” Friesen explained. “It’s the only way to do a search that’s not only available today but the most relevant today.”
Using a vast array of social media platforms, including Polyvore and Pinterest, as well as information shared by the top 1,500 bloggers, Wantering provided a ‘Hotness’ score that could determine just how well a product was doing on a scale from 1 to 10. “We’ve been talking to brands, because if you’re working with brands from a social media perspective, it’s important to see which of your products is doing the best online and what’s causing people to share your product,” Director of Marketing and Communications, Kathleen Ong shared. “This is insight to their brand awareness online.”
As collaborative Wantering has been with brands, however, when the company identified a problem users were having with the platform, the chosen solution avoided help from any of its 150 partnered stores. Users were leaving Wantering too often onto sites that seemed to interrupt the ease and elegance of buying. “If you’re shopping products that are across three different stores, you’re having to go to leave an awful lot and put your credit card in every single time,” Friesen revealed. “It’s a bit of the mess.”
Ong estimates that up to two hours alone can be spent on searching for online codes for discounts and that regular deals offered are usually missed without extensive knowledge on brands. “Every Wednesday Banana Republic has discounts – you don’t know that. What if the shoes you’re looking that’s available at six different stores is cheapest on Zappos? Your Wantering concierge can tell you that. Now you have a special helper.”
Wantering’s launch of Concierge allows users to set up an account and purchase all of their items directly from the platform without having to leave to multiple different sites. Matt says the addition to the search engine was an “obvious one” that users came up with themselves. “We could see what was happening on mobile and through transactions through our data,” he said. “So it was our users that help built this, absolutely.” Friesen was adamant, however, that Wantering’s Concierge was built with a ‘secret sauce’ that didn’t require help from the stores themselves. “We don’t actually need the stores to do this,” he stated. “We actually have a technical solution which allowed us to create this without having a formal partnership.”
Despite this, Wantering is confident brands should be thrilled at their model. “One of the biggest challenges everyone’s facing right now is mobile. It’s the biggest opportunitiy for stores because millennials are always on their phones,” Matt Friesen. “But some of these website, if you click to leave and try to purchase, are so awful. So we are the completely mobile-friendly experience that’s beautiful and elegant. That’s why brands want access to this, so they don’t have to build anything new, they can just use us.”
Wantering’s Concierge is currently available for waitlisting. On whether or not Wantering is still identified as a search engine, Friesen confessed, “what I know is that there are three points of buying online: finding inspiration, searching for the product, and then buying. We’re the first that actually marries the three.”