Verishop is transitioning its app to enable social shopping, allowing both brands and users to post on the platform. Now, users can upload photos and videos, tag products in their content, share curated collection boards and follow people and brands of their choice, the company announced on Monday.
Among the new features the platform introduced on Monday are its "For You" and "Following" feeds, which have a stream of personalized, shoppable content curated through artificial intelligence, the company said.
The platform has almost 1,000 direct-to-consumer, independent and traditional brands in its roster, and is focused on offering an experience "missing from today's social media apps" for its two-thirds of shoppers under 35. The company noted that young shoppers are particularly involved in searching for lifestyle ideas online and sharing style choices with an audience.
Verishop said in its announcement that it sees photos and videos online as the new window shopping, and ordinary users as the new stylists. It's an approach to shopping that's playing out actively on Instagram and Pinterest as retailers and brands find ways to connect inspiration seekers with products that match their searches.
In July, Verishop first added shoppable content with a select number of brands and influencers to its iOS app and tapped into computer vision technology to recommend the same or similar products to those being viewed. This update to those efforts expands the feature to all brands and users.
As Verishop has worked to roll out shoppable content features, a lengthy list of other companies, including LG, Google, Poshmark, TikTok and Shopify, are experimenting with similar capabilities. Instagram and Pinterest, two of the social media channels most identified with inspiration and discovery, have also worked at length to make the social media shopping experience more natural. Instagram launched a dedicated shopping hub in July and recently expanded its shopping capabilities to Reels and IGTV as well, while Pinterest in April added dedicated "shop" tabs and style guides to its platform.
In December 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted in-store shopping, Verishop teamed up with mall operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield to provide pop-up physical retail spaces for online brands. But as the coronavirus pandemic continues, the tides have turned more toward online shopping, and retailers like Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue have incorporated shoppable content into their strategies to connect with homebound consumers.