Men’s Fashion Club Jackthreads Makes Online Shopping Less Lonely

Jackthreads, the members-only online shopping club helmed by founder Jason Ross and Thrillist’s Ben Lerer, is working on something brand new in the ecommerce space. The goal: to make the online shopping experience more like the real-life, brick-and-mortar shopping experience.

Today, the move is but an incremental one, as the site launches a new button alongside items that shows number of views, number of times that item has been placed in a cart, and the number of times someone has “wanted” the item.

The company has been focused on this initiative since last year, when Jackthreads launched “Chat with Jill.” The feature allowed young, female customer service agents to live chat with customers, giving those guys the feedback of a woman. The idea is that many male shoppers want more social proof when they’re preparing to make a purchase, and Lerer claims that this feature resulted in a “huge spike in conversion.”

Today’s feature launch moves toward the same goal, though this time letting male members of Jackthreads give each other social proof. By seeing that a certain item is wanted or purchased by many of your peers may just be the tipping point to a sale, giving the customer the confidence to pull the trigger.

“It’s a small gesture, but we expect to substantively affect conversion for a certain kind of guy,” said Ben Lerer. “It’ll be interesting to see how it goes as we measure it, but we think it should change the game for a lot of our guys.”

Early last year, Jackthreads claimed to be doing 30 percent of its traffic and revenue via mobile, and in May the company launched an iPad app.

Today’s that’s grown to 65 percent of traffic and half of revenue coming from mobile, pushing the company to focus on a mobile-first lens as well as social proof going into 2014.

After all, that’s seemingly the key for man-focused online shopping, and we’ve seen a number of companies cater these needs.

For women, moving to online shopping just meant avoiding the hassle of a store. Women know their sizes, what they like, and trust their opinions. For men, according to Jackthreads, the transition is a bit more daunting.

Instead of shopping with a friend or girlfriend in a store filled with patrons and store attendants, online shopping is a lonely experience. It’s all up to the shopper.

Today’s new views button (internally called “Busy Store”) is just one step toward changing that.

This is a very step-by-step process, however a year from now this social visibility should be present across the entire shopping experience,” said Jason Ross. “At the product and sale level, shoppers will be able to see which sales and items are getting the most engagement, and within the navigation they’ll be able to sort and filter by engagement as well. It aligns perfectly with our strategy of reducing the barriers to fashion and lifestyle discovery for our guys.”