“Like” It? Now You Can Also Want It (And Tell Your Network)
A new startup called Want aims to take the “Like” button one step further. Based in Farmington Hills, MI, and backed by the Camelot Venture Group, Want has created a Facebook-integrated social button for online retailers that enables consumers to track what they want to buy while spreading the word across their social network.
“People tend to ‘Like’ things after they purchase them, but there’s no real opportunity for e-commerce,” says Greg Links, Want’s vice president of business development. “The word ‘want’ is tailor-made for shopping sites. When people click on the Want button, it acts like a universal wish list that lives on Facebook. Retailers’ products are then exposed to a source of traffic and they can interact with wantees.”
Want was started in 2011 by Jordan Katzman, Eric Chesbrough, and Alex Fenkell—three men in their early 20s who grew up together in suburban Oakland County. Their goal was to create a product that gave retailers easy access to the “social graph 2.0″ and a way to engage shoppers.
The Want button already appears on more than 1,000 online retail sites, including Sharper Image, Tommy Bahama, Ritz Camera, and Warner Brothers. Music sites in particular, Links says, have been receptive to the Want button in this current age where social media has allowed fans to follow and communicate with musicians like never before. “Visitors are very passionate about bands and their merchandise,” he says.
Eventually, Want plans to design a mobile app for multi-channel shoppers that would allow them to take a picture of an item while out shopping and automatically send it to their Want list. The app will also alert shoppers when they’re near a store that carries an item they want.
Though Want is still offered to retailers as a freemium service, next year it plans to significantly ramp up operations and monetize its data. One of the ways it’s likely to cash in is by collecting a commission for each wanted item that is actually purchased. Another possible avenue is the growing network on Want’s homepage, which Links describes as “like Pinterest for retail.”
But perhaps most valuable is the quality of the interaction between want users and retailers, and Links says they’re exploring ways to capitalize on that. “We know what what we’ve built works,” he says. “Our metrics show that people who click on the Want button are more likely to make a purchase, and will have a higher average order value.” Thirty-eight percent of the time, a click on a wanted item led to a click through to the retailer’s homepage, Links says. Compare that to the 95 percent of shoppers who visit a retailer’s page and leave without sharing any information about themselves.
“The sky’s the limit on deal opportunities,” he adds. “For a retailer, nobody is more valuable than the person who is raising their hand and saying, ‘I want one of your products and I’m going to give you my e-mail address.’ Someday, we want to be as ubiquitous as the Like button.”