menu

Zappos Labs: The Frontier Of Online Retail Is Curation

Zappos Labs: The Frontier Of Online Retail Is Curation
Retail

Retail executive lays out the future of content curation.

Carrie Whitehead, Zappos
  • 28 april 2013

If you think about it, fashion may actually be THE industry that started the curation trend – we just didn’t know it at the time. How could we? “Curation” is a relatively new term, but it’s finding its way into other realms; you hear about content curation, music curation – all meaning that in some way, these industries are personalizing their offer according to your individual wants, needs and likes.

Online retail has given us the ability to find almost anything we’d want to buy. In fact, offering a great selection has become the goal for many online retailers. The largest online retailer, Amazon.com has a vision to be the ‘Earth’s Biggest Selection.’ But is this vast selection too overwhelming for shoppers? A search for ‘black dress’ in Clothing & Accessories on Amazon.com brings back 65,529 results! For consumers, this large number of choices can lead to confusion, exhaustion and dissatisfied purchases, or worse, no purchase at all.

With new retailers, designers and online experiences launching daily, the need for easy discovery of relevant fashion is more important than ever. Shoppers are increasingly turning to experiences that offer a smaller set of tailored selections to help find the product that is just right for them according to their individual wants, needs and likes. A tailored experience is no longer just a desire for shoppers, it is an expectation.

Frank & Oak Style recomendations

Curated retail is nothing new. Traditional brick and mortar stores have always relied on strategic merchandise presentation, attractive window displays and helpful sales associates to grab their customer’s attention and help them discover new products. Although online stores may not have the advantage of this physical and in-person appeal, they are using consumer data, advanced technologies and social media to take the curated experience to the next level.

Large retailers are looking at how they can offer a more tailored experience around their existing inventory. Zappos recently launched Glance, a shopping experience allowing users to discover the most exciting products from Zappos through curated collections. In addition to hand-picked collections, Glance allows users to heart products they love; ultimately allowing shoppers to discover products hearted by others with similar taste or by what is popular within the community.

Retailers are also turning to a limited product mix to offer a more tailored experience. Niche retailers such as Warby Parker (retro-inspired eyewear) and Frank & Oak (quality menswear) are providing a boutique experience with a price tag that’s accessible.

Many websites focus on narrowed discovery by offering products chosen by celebrities, industry experts or the social community. Social shopping site OpenSky taps celebrities and influencers to select the products they love. Fancy, a social photo site similar to Pinterest, puts curation in the hands of the community. Its goal is to connect users with similar tastes and allow them to purchase the things they like.

zappos-glance

All of the examples above help shoppers discover products that are more relevant to them. Additionally, because these experiences are hand tailored – in some cases by someone the shopper knows – they are more likely to purchase the product or share with their friends.

Although there will always be a need for the multi-category mass retail experience, curated online shopping is a huge trend that will continue to help consumers navigate the incredible selection to find what’s right for them. As online shopping behavior changes, retailers will continue to find ways to provide easy-to-use, highly personalized experiences that offer customers what they want, where they want it. Combining an online shopper’s history and preferences with human touch will lead to the perfect answer to the question, “What is right for me?”

Carrie Whitehead is the Product and UX Manager at Zappos Labs in San Francisco, where she spearheads new and innovative adventures in online shopping.

Retail
Trending

Lyft Gives Free Rides To Those Who Have Had Too Much To Drink

Advertising
Syndicated Yesterday

Banned Books Week Urges People To Seek Out Controversial Works

Joining the annual celebration of the right to read, US author Jessica Herthel called for 'more information, more voices' to protect diversity

Augmented & Virtual Reality Yesterday

Outdoor Camp Presented In 360° VR By X Games Gold Medalist

The video features campers riding BMX trails, zip lining through the woods, and performing big-air jumps

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Yesterday

Boeing Wants Passengers To Control Their In-Flight Experience Through Their Phones

The airline manufacturer is embracing automation through a new generation of mobile travel apps

Augmented / Virtual Reality Yesterday

VR Surgery Videos Offer Interactive Medical Education

Dutch startup MDLinking hopes to globalize communication between students and medical care professionals with virtual reality content

Related Expert

Manoush Zomorodi

Media Production, Digital Detox

Culture Yesterday

Use Twitter To Learn A New Language

tDict is an app that uses the social media platform to help you search for words in local dialects

Mobile Yesterday

This Startup Wants To Digitize The Loose Coins In Your Pocket

CoinOut is a new app that lets you save your extra change from cash transactions as electronic funds

Advertising Yesterday

McDonald’s Is Accepting Trash As Currency In Exchange For Burgers

An initiative in Stockholm is trying to keep streets clean while satisfying hunger

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Culture Yesterday

Google Is Using Virtual Paper Airplanes To Bring People Closer Together

The tech giant released an app that lets people throw their good wishes out into the world on the International Day of Peace

Advertising Yesterday

Get Paid For Traveling In San Francisco After Rush Hour

BART Perks rewards commuters who take early or late trains by giving them extra points to trade for money

Culture Yesterday

Artist Designs Covers For Books That Don’t Exist

Published by the fictional 'Specious Books,' the subversive works facilitate a conversation regarding the artistic integrity of graphic designers

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Food Yesterday

Bringing Food Innovation To America’s Crowded Milk Market

a2 Milk's Blake Waltrip, Chief Executive of the USA region, discusses how the distributor plans on bringing the popular drink for the dairy-sensitive to the States

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Financial Services Yesterday

Device Makes Digital Currency Feel Tangible

The concept gadget wants you to experience the highs and lows of spending money

Augmented / Virtual Reality Yesterday

NBC Is Planning To Stream The Presidential Debates In Virtual Reality

Partnering with AltspaceVR, the broadcaster offers another way for Americans to engage with the election season

No search results found.