TECHNOLOGY

New e-commerce site plans to poach millennial shoppers from Amazon

BY Dan Berthiaume

Details are vague, but it appears Amazon will soon have new competition for coveted Millennial consumers.

In a Medium post dated Feb. 11, an e-commerce company calling itself Verishop says it plans to bring “joy” back to online shopping. The founding team of Verishop includes CEO Imran Khan, former chief strategy officer of Snapchat parent Snap, as well as chief strategy officer Cate Khan, whose eight-year tenure at Amazon included a stint as senior VP of retail for its now shuttered Quidsi subsidiary. News reports indicate the Khans are husband and wife.

According to Verishop, it has spoken to many brands in the past few months since its founding and discovered a desire to grow their online business to reach Millennial shoppers. However, brands are finding their integrity diminished by circumstances such as having to pay for better placement, as well as competing with unvetted third-party sellers and counterfeit goods. Amazon is not mentioned by name, but these are all complaints brands selling on Amazon have made.

“Our aim is to create an online retailer that better serves both customers and brands,” says the Medium post. “We’re spending time evaluating and selecting only the brands that meet our standards and resonate with our customers.”

On the customer side, Verishop is seeking to balance the efficiency of searching, adding products to a shopping cart and making purchases, with the potential fun of shopping online.

“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the differences between buying and shopping, and the emotions that drive both,” says the post. “We see an opportunity for an e-commerce company to bring joy back to online shopping and do it at scale with the ease of online purchasing and fast delivery we’ve all come to expect.”

The front page of the Verishop website says “coming soon,” but has links for brands to email inquiries, as well as for customers to submit their email address to “be one of the first to shop with us.” It is not clear if Verishop will require a membership to shop, or if it will offer some type of loyalty or preferred shopper program.

In addition, the Verishop homepage has a link to job openings, all based in Los Angeles, on the Greenhouse recruiting site. Currently, there are seven listed jobs spanning the buying, creative, and engineering departments.

Verishop says its funding includes has $17.5 million from investors led by Lightspeed Ventures.

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