There’s a new fashion ecommerce site on the block, and this one has the backing of an ecommerce industry power couple. Verishop.com launched Tuesday as the latest project from social network Snap’s former chief strategy officer Imran Khan and his wife Cate Khan, who earlier in her career worked at Amazon.com Inc, New Avon LLC and L’Oreal S.A.. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000. Avon is No. 75, L’Oreal is No. 94.
The site sells products from more than 160 brands across women’s and men’s apparel, home and beauty, Cate Khan wrote on LinkedIn. Verishop also offers free two-day shipping and free returns with no minimum purchase or memberships required. That’s different from ecommerce goliath Amazon.com Inc., which requires shoppers pay $119 a year or $12.99 a month for its Prime loyalty program that provides two-day shipping and other perks such as streaming video.
“When we look at the retail market in the U.S., we see a world of tradeoffs. Some places have world-class delivery experience, but the product selection is overwhelming and at times full of counterfeits,” Verishop says in its About Us section on its site. “Some have amazing products, but lag in technological innovation or disappoint customers who have come to expect fast delivery. And still others have great customer service, but don’t have the product assortment for the millennial shopper.”
Verishop has been in the works since January when staff began writing code for the site, the company says. “Since then, we’ve built the first iteration of our ecommerce platform complete with hand-selected product and a consistent experience from online browsing to delivery to customer care. We fully intend to continue this rigor to continue evolving and innovating on our platform. Given what we’ve done in about six months, we are fired up to see what we can accomplish in the nearly $6 trillion U.S. retail market,” Verishop says.
Different from other online marketplaces
The site bills itself as a marketplace, but unlike how many in the industry define ecommerce marketplaces, the site doesn’t host third-party sellers. Verishop buys all the inventory the site sells. However, it is similar to marketplaces in that it hosts a wide variety of lesser-known or niche brands. Since Verishop purchases the inventory, it doesn’t rely on third-party sellers who could provide poor customer service, sell counterfeit goods or introduce other inconsistencies, such as varying shipping speeds and return policies, the company says. “We are hand-picking verified and curated brands that resonate with our savvy target customer while buying inventory to ensure that counterfeit goods and shady third-party sellers don’t have a place on our platform,” Verishop says. It controls the entire purchasing process from the technology to creative and logistics so it can ensure consistent quality, the company says.
Marketplaces including eBay Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Amazon have long struggled with outside sellers touting counterfeit goods on their marketplaces. In April, President Trump issued an order for government agencies to investigate the flow of counterfeit and pirated goods coming into the U.S. and the procedures of third parties that facilitate their import or sale. The order cites a Government Accountability Office report that found more than 40% of a small sample of goods in frequently counterfeited product categories were fake. The products in the sample set were purchased on online marketplaces.
Verishop carries brands ranging from Levi Strauss & Co. to lesser-known manufacturers and niche labels like beach equipment brand The Beach People. It also aims to help consumers discover new products and brands based on attributes important to them.
For example, its Responsible Shop is stocked with products and brands that fall into at least one of several categories, such as cruelty free or fair trade, meaning the company behind the product commits to fair pay and ethical working conditions for its employees. Meanwhile, its clean beauty category sells products with nontoxic ingredients that are free of chemical sunscreens, formaldehyde and more. It also features Tastemaker shops that include products curated from influencers.
Verishop also features products from bedding retailer Boll & Branch (No. 420). A spokeswoman for Boll & Branch says its relationship with Verishop is “a fairly standard wholesale arrangement.” She says Verishop is working on sharing aggregate-level data that extends beyond the basic information brands typically receive when selling on marketplaces, but it won’t be sharing any customer-level data for privacy reasons.
A sea of marketplace options
Verishop is using such selling points for both shoppers and merchants to help differentiate itself from the several marketplaces available to consumers online today. Beyond Amazon, eBay and Alibaba, other big-name retailers such as Walmart have launched marketplaces that have attracted marquee third-party brands. Walmart Inc. (No. 3), for example, last year added brand shops including Fanatics Inc. (owned by Kynetic LLC, No. 14) and Lord & Taylor (owned by Hudson’s Bay Co., No. 41) on its marketplace.
Other apparel marketplaces, meanwhile, are folding. ShopRunner Inc. which purchased online apparel marketplace app Spring last year, announced plans to shutter Spring less than a year after acquiring it. ShopRunner is primarily known for its two-day shipping, membership-based ecommerce network, which offers its shipping benefits from retailers such as Chico’s FAS Inc. (No. 123), Bergdorf Goodman (owned by Neiman Marcus, No. 51) and Tory Burch LLC (No. 122), among 123 other retailers. It is bringing many of Spring’s more than 2 million SKUs from over 2,000 brands to District, the online marketplace it launched last holiday season, ShopRunner CEO Sam Yagan said earlier this year. Some Spring brands are already selling on District, such as Burberry Ltd. (No. 129). However, Yagan is unsure how many brands will elect to operate on District.
Verishop didn’t immediately respond to a request for more information about the new ecommerce site.Favorite