Our vision for Want

Sharing our new focus

Update: Want turned out to be biggest project we’ve ever built in terms of technical complexity. An ecommerce marketplace built from scratch integrated with Shopify as a Sales Channel. We invested a lot of effort building an amazing UX for shoppers and sellers, supported by native mobile apps for iOS and Android. However, it was the smallest in terms of traction.

As of December 2017, we decided to focus on helping brands sell online through their own Shopify store, using many customized tools and apps we’ve built that help convert more and increase sales. If you own a Shopify store, do not hesitate to reach out to us!

We will continue working on a consumer focused project: Top Nine. This will be the only consumer brand we’ll work on, applying each of the tools we’ve built! You can read more about how Top Nine started here:

For those of you who don’t know us, we’re a team of software developers and marketers that last year got a few simple apps into the App Store Top Charts. By partnering with social media influencers, we were able to reach an audience of millions, learning a lot about what motivates them in the process. So when we saw that more than a few ecommerce stores wanted to reach the same audience we knew how to target, we began collaborating with some of the best ones on their influencer marketing efforts, which turned into millions in sales. If you’re interested, you can read more about our journey here.

Today, we’d like to share our vision for Want, the long-term project we’ve been working on for a few months now. It’s not quite ready to be fully launched yet, but we believe we’ve already reached a point where it is worth sharing. Our goal is to gain valuable feedback and recruit talented people who are aligned with our vision.

So, what is Want?

Want is a new way to discover and shop for trending products online, tailored specifically for young millennials and Gen Z.

It’s powered by a community of users who promote the products they like. It’s like Product Hunt, but for the younger ones.

What makes it different from other ecommerce marketplaces?

It’s no secret that ecommerce marketplaces are a very crowded space, so we’re striving to stand out from the rest by:

Tailoring it for young millennials and generation Z

Our main differentiator lies in the way it is truly tailored for the “Snapchat generation,” one that has proven to be more ad-resistant than any other before it, so their intent is most effectively driven by people they know.

Influencer marketing is therefore at the core of both our product design and marketing strategy, and our network of social media influencers enable us to reach millions of users a day, both on Twitter and Instagram.

If you ask someone in their 30s where they bought their iPhone case, the answer will most probably be Amazon. But that probably wouldn’t be the case with the younger ones. There’s a new generation of consumers that have a very different buying behavior. One that if given the chance to make an impact by purchasing something, they’ll happily take it. They’re motivated and driven by what influencers are promoting, or even they peers.

How do we know this? Because we’ve helped drive millions of 15 to 25 year-olds to stores that were committed to donate a portion of their sales to a good cause — like saving the ocean, or the elephants in Africa. We helped on their influencer marketing efforts, where we were able to see the potential of matching the right product with the target audience and the cause, at scale. Every feature on Want was therefore designed as a response to a key insight we discovered on the buying behavior. On top of showcasing trendy products users like for instance, we highlight the stores that donate a portion of their profits to charity.

It’s gamified

Gamification plays a key role in our retention strategy; the more you use Want, the more discounts and prizes you win. We’ve chosen to create a model based on two different dimensions: points and rewards. Users earn points for using Want, and rewards for performing specific actions like creating their first post, or getting followed by fellow users.

The rewards they earn also depend on the stores and brands they are following. This was designed to encourage users to follow stores and brands.

It’s platform-agnostic: Introducing WantCodes.

We believe Snapchat made QR codes cool again. It’s a highly effective (and fun) mechanism to deep-link to a specific resource inside the app. We’re not the only ones who are re-descovering QR-like codes; the likes of Facebook and Spotify are too. Even Twitter thinks that, but not as much as to go about developing their own custom code.

QR/custom codes

To make influencer shoutouts more engaging and frictionless, we’ve invested a lot into building our custom code (the WantCode). It’s not ready yet, so we decided to use a(n uglier) QR code in the meantime. Still, engagement proved to be great with a small percentage showing recurrent usage. WantCodes are not only for influencers though, they can be created by end users too.

Users post content on Want using other social networks, making it platform-agnostic. Want rewards users for discovering WantCodes. They are always on the lower right part of any photo or video posted by a user or an influencer — when they find one, they just have to take a screenshot. If they have the Want app installed, we’ll detect the embedded WantCode and save its contents to their Discoveries. Every WantCode is linked to something cool they’ll enjoy discovering: a product they might like, a giveaway, or even some cool web site an influencer wanted to draw their attention to.

Content is generated by users, influencers, and brands

Every marketer and SEO master knows the quote by Bill Gates: “Content is king.” We believe user-generated content is even more so. That’s the main reason behind our investment in gamification; our goal is to be the platform where young millennials come to talk about brands, products, and everything around them.

User-Generated Content also creates the social proof needed to harness the trust of new visitors in order to drive conversions. Based on our experience creating mobile apps and working with ecommerce stores (in both cases with millions of users,) we understand there’s a lot of friction involved in the process of downloading and starting to use a new mobile app. That’s why we’ve designed Want to expect mobile web conversions, curated and optimized based on the content created created by engaged mobile app users.

We will be experimenting with content creation and the usage of it in various different ways. We can’t wait to build more cool things around Want! It’s becoming easier than ever for developers to build bots, or integrating Augmented Reality experiences with Apple’s new ARKit, to name a few of the countless other means to enhance content generation and excite users.

AdTech combined with influencer and affiliates programs

Companies monetizing with ads have always strived to show relevant content with the right targeting. Nowadays, users more or less expect to be re-targeted with ads showing content or products they’ve recently stumbled upon, and companies like AdRoll, Criteo, and many Shopify apps have made this integration even simpler. But we believe there’s still a lot of room for improvement, so we developed our own system and made it available for free.

Want merchants can choose to share usage data from users who visited their store, enabling us to show them more engaging ads. In turn, merchants pay us a commission based on the portion of their sales made directly through Want. We haven’t made this publicly available to all merchants just yet, but will be as soon as we’re done testing it in full.

Throughout our journey, we’ve also developed a few other more bespoke pieces of software to support all operations in our marketing strategy, and we’re now taking those and bundling them up in the shape of a platform meant to make interactions with influencers and publishers much easier and more efficient. Similar Amazon or CJ, but with better commissions ;)

Buzzfeed just launched a similar thing with its sales channel for Shopify, allowing editors to search for and consider featuring products on their campaigns, product lists, and onsite content. We enable publishers and influencers on the affiliate program to do this with our content as well.

Created for brands and stores running on Shopify

Shopify is the leading cloud-based ecommerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. More than 375,000 merchants use the platform on a daily basis to manage every aspect of their business; online, in-store, and everywhere in between.

Satish Kanwar announcing the new sales channels for 2017

The Sales Channel program enables merchants to increase sales by selling their products across multiple sales channels, syncing inventory and orders. All sales channels connect with the Shopify admin panel, so they can keep track of everything. Thank you Satish for including us on the announcement!

Want is currently exclusive for Shopify stores, and will be for a few more months. This will allow us to focus on developing the best possible integration with a few merchants, and making sure we’re getting the most out of the Shopify platform. We couldn’t be happier with all the help and support we’ve received during this process.

How far along are we?

Want has been live on the App Store for a few months now, and our network of social media influencers have been promoting products to millions of their followers. We’re currently focused on increasing retention, usage, and organic growth of the Want app.

We’re recruiting!

Profiles? All kinds. Developers, marketers, content creators, influencers, advisors, or really anyone who’s aligned with our vision and motivated to work with us. From all ages and willing to work from San Francisco, Uruguay, or remotely.

Thank you!

We really want to say thank you to everyone who supported us throughout this amazing journey. No company is built in a vacuum, and we couldn’t have got this far if it wasn’t for all the help from partners, influencers, advisors and the team that works hard every single day to build something that’s going to be used by at least a couple hundred thousands.

See you on the top charts! :)

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