Wantworthy, the 2011 TechStars NYC grad which offers an online shopping tool for tracking products you want to buy, is making its move to mobile with the debut of a new app, which also has a new name: Fresh. Unlike Wantworthy.com, which is somewhat utilitarian in nature, Fresh is more of a companion app to its parent website, as opposed to an attempt at re-creating the Wantworthy experience on mobile’s small screen.
You can think of the app as something like a feed reader for new arrivals. After you sign up and follow your favorite stores, you’re presented with a stream of new products which match your interests. The app cleverly walks you through a sign-up flow where it attempts to identify what kind of shopper you are through a brief Q&A where you tap on answers to identify your style and favorite stores. This helps to build out your personalized home feed.
Today, Wantworthy’s users tend to shop at a number of online stores, including national retailers like Nordstrom, JCrew, Sephora and Target, as well as those making a name for themselves in the e-commerce space like Nasty Gal, Shopbop, ASOS, ModCloth, Urban Outfitters, and others. Fresh offers a better way to shop across these stores, as you can quickly tap on a store’s name in the app’s sidebar to peek into their new product selections.
The app also features other sections like popular new arrivals and an editorially curated “Fresh Picks,” where product selections are organized into categories like “Accessory Candy,” “Bows not Bros,” “iPhone Bling,” “Quirky Cool,” “When I’m Rich,” and more.
You can mark items as “Want” or tap “Buy” to proceed to checkout. This will redirect you to the retailer’s site, though improved mobile checkout is a feature Wantworthy plans to address in time.
Explains Wantworthy co-founder Lauren McDevitt, the inspiration for Fresh comes from the need for a better mobile shopping experience than what many retailers today offer. “The browsing experience itself is kind of shoddy,” she says of using the mobile web. “Mobile websites are kind of a mess and mobile apps are kind of fragmented.”
Plus, for Wantworthy’s core demographic – a largely female, younger audience – their smartphones are becoming their primary device to do their online shopping, co-founder Josh Wais adds. And Fresh’s new arrivals can be almost like an Instagram for products, he notes.
On the web, around 65 percent of the products Wantworthy shoppers are saving are new arrivals, but the company declined to provide exact user numbers or actives at this time, only saying that the website has seen “hundreds of thousands” of sign-ups. However, the big number Wantworthy has on hand to demonstrate traction, or, in e-commerce speak, its ability to capture “real purchase intent,” is that it has reached half a billion dollars worth of products saved in shoppers’ accounts.
Some retailers are starting to notice, too, as one in ten of Wantworthy’s shoppers end up making a purchase. The founders say they’re now working with a larger retailer (which they’re not yet allowed to name publicly), on a trial program where Wantworthy data is used in promotional emails. They’re also in various stages of discussions with another small handful of five to ten retailers.
Fresh is something of a competitor to other mobile product aggregators like Fancy, Pinterest or Wanelo, for example, but Pinterest isn’t shoppable, and others are focused more on popular items or a “best of the best” kind of experience. Wanelo may be the one to beat here, currently at #23 in the Apple App Store’s Lifestyle section in the U.S. It also offers a personalized feed, but many of its users tend to prefer the trending page. While popular items are fun to browse, when you go to purchase a trending product on Wanelo, it’s often something that’s long since been sold out.
Fresh is attempting to differentiate itself through its larger focus on new arrivals, and its ability to sync your activity to the Wantworthy.com homepage, for when you’re back at your computer and ready to shop some more. Your list of “wants” can also serve as a universal wish list of sorts, and your personal link can be shared to Facebook or via email, if you choose.
Fresh is available now for download in Apple’s iPhone App Store. An iPad version and Android app are also in the works.