Physical retail stores aren’t very good at enticing customers to shop with them online, and this is something startup Edgecase wants to fix.
Formerly called Compare Metrics, the rebranded Edgecase offers retailers a new platform that attempts to present products in a way that makes the most sense for shoppers by overhauling the navigation. This is needed because many existing online retail stores were initially built by web designers and developers who have little experience translating the real-world experience of shopping to the Web.
“Roughly 1-in-3 people who walk through the door of a retail store end up making a purchase, but the stats for online shopping are abysmal,” said Edgecase cofounder and CEO Garrett Eastham in an interview with VentureBeat. “A lot of the time it’s an unruly catalog of products and an overworked merchandising team that leads to” gaps in the online shopping experience, he said.
Eastham says the company has observed that most online customers will add things to digital shopping carts and spend a decent amount of time on the site only to leave without making a purchase. Other times, customers simply can’t shop like they would via window shopping or perusing store shelves.
The revised shopping platform fixes the navigation in a few ways. Edgecase said forcing shoppers to navigate based on common details like brand, price, size, or color doesn’t always work. In fact this method of navigation is kind of useless if you don’t have a specific idea for what you’d like to buy. Instead, shoppers can type in search queries that translate to what they’d tell a sale person at a retail store. (For example, a blue casual short skirt.)
Edgecase’s platform also sets search/navigation terms so that you can see an overview of everything you might like to buy as well as assign values for product details that are important verses details you’re indifferent about. It also tries to predict what people will like based on a combination of customer activity while on the site and alson has human-powered curation. So if you like a particular item, you can easily check out other similar products. (Check out the demo video below for a closer look at the navigation in action.)
Some of Edgecase’s clients already using the new shopping platform include Crate & Barrel, Wasserstrom, Urban Decay, and Golfsmith.
Founded in 2012, the Austin, Texas-based startup has raised $8 million in funding from Austin Ventures, Capital Factory, Floodgate, Allegro Venture Partners, and others. Edgecase said it has plans to launch a mobile version of its shopping platform in the near future.