Catchup: We left you last time, as we were embarking on our market research phase.
Something bigger than multiple browser tabs
Whilst researching, we were forced to reconcile ourselves with something odd, and yet self-evident when one starts thinking about it — that we as consumers are massively underrepresented when it comes to technology that has been built specifically for us as opposed to retailers, even though these same retailers exist only due to our good grace and operate only to serve us, literally.
To write that is to say that we simply take what we’re given — because we don’t have a choice — and it seems like there are few and far between interested in serving our needs by designing systems from the ground-up to work for us.
Even those that begin their journey doing so, usually end it by building something that leverages the goodwill they’ve fostered and selling it to the highest bidder.
The reason is obvious, of course. Those with resources can afford to build involved systems that serve their best interests. Those without, cannot. Simples.
Though it is the way of the world, we at baskt were not thrilled by this absence of, and/or lack of will to build tools that reflect the new behavioural paradigms we demonstrate when we’re shopping. Right now, we’re being forced to still squeeze through the round hole even though we have evolved to become a square peg.
The other side of the fence
As an online shopper, it’s important to take a step back and understand what forces we’re up against, which in themselves may reveal why technology that advocates for the consumer isn’t being built as regularly as we believe it should.
More than other industries where B2B startups (that’s business-to-business, or companies building tools where the consumer is not you or me, but another company) almost exclusively exist to increase efficiencies and service levels to ultimately benefit the end-consumer (you and me), we discovered as were looking around that a lot of the B2B companies which exist in the e-commerce space are actually expertly designed to counter our best human intuitions, or insidiously bring them out; i.e. to essentially work against us.
Not all, of course. There are some great B2B startups out there in the industry, e.g. London-based EDITD whom we love, and aim to give retailers insight into what “the right product, at the right price, at the right time” is, or in other words to provide retailers data that empowers them to give consumers what we want.
But you also have a litany of B2B guys (and indeed the big e-commerce businesses themselves) working on things like exit intent, real-time dynamic pricing, behavioural retargeting, remarketing, psychological optimisation, and countless other tactics.
All of that sounded to us like we’re being manipulated at historical scales and despite ourselves, rather than being given features and functionality that our best interests are aligned with.
Our fates were sealed
Requiring superhuman fortitude to just go about our business and shop as we’d like to do doesn’t sound like our intravenous shot of Pimm’s (we‘re Londoners); call us weird like that, and upon sitting down and realising all the above and the reality it actually then creates for us as consumers, we knew what our mission aught to be.
That is, to encourage greater consideration when shopping and provide shoppers with a suite of tools (all in one place) that helps them redress the imbalance heavily weighted right now in the favour of retailers.
And if we helped solve the whole multiple browser tab thing at the same time, then great! :-)
So, that’s why we’re building baskt.
If you think we’re interesting, smart, good looking, on the right track, or even just have a hyperactive finger that likes clicking a lot, why not subscribe here on Medium, follow us on Twitter, and/or join us on the site itself!
Thanks for reading.