Shopping may be fun, but cramped dressing rooms and seemingly endless checkout lines at malls can make the experience less than ideal. Online shopping helps people avoid all these hassles, but it’s also challenging to buy over the internet unless you know specifically what you’re buying.
While there are many sites that are good at showcasing products like Pinterest, Fashion Tumblrs, and street photography site Lookbook.nu, there are usually few details on how to actually buy these items.
Enter San Francisco-based startup Wanelo, a company with the same aesthetics as the mentioned portals but with one essential difference: clicking on a product’s image directs you to where it is offered for sale rather than another Pinterest post, blog or image site.
Wanelo, which is a quirky jumble of the words want, need, and love, allows users to share items such as apparel, accessories, furniture and makeup products, making them visible to friends and followers.
Users can also comment on these items and search for other’s articles. Companies and brands like REI, Anthropologie and even Apple repair shop Tekserve can also make their own collections of products for cyber shoppers.
The idea for Wanelo started a few years ago, when founder and chief executive Deena Varshavskaya wanted to know what products her friends were buying. She found that none of the existing social media portals were suitable for shopping, so she brought in a developer to help her create a portal in 2010.
Now, Wanelo attracts 1.3 million visitors each month and its application is rated as the best lifestyle app in the Apple App Store, with downloads totalling over 1.5 million.