We’ve all done it. Scroll through dozens of pages of pictures and descriptions in order to find something we want to buy. Sure, it can be convenient, but perhaps it’s a bit…boring? The team at Obsess think so, and with backing from the New York Fashion Lab, Tech Stars, and even Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, it’s very possible that how we shop online will be radically different in the near future.
that Bezos is investing in Obsess, because its mission statement is actually
counter to what Amazon has essentially made a mainstay in global e-commerce—the
grid. You know, the grid of items that you see on virtually all ecommerce
stores? Sure, it’s utilitarian and you can find exactly what you need, but what
if buyers just wanted to browse?
Obsess, founded by Neha Singh, a former technology lead at Vogue and Google.
Obsess is one of the possible solutions to proper discovery-driven shopping
online. Sure, you can entice people with text and ads, but as they say, a
picture is worth a thousand words, and a freely roving camera you can walk
through a store with means one thing: more people Engaging with the site. Obsess
has partnered with several fashion brands to create online showrooms, with brands
like Farfetch, Levi’s Tommy Hilfiger already using the platform to showcase
their virtual showrooms to the whole world.
So how does
it work? Essentially, Obsess creates a virtual shopping space, or transforms a
pre-existing space (say a launch or popup into a virtual space). Potential
customers can then ‘move’ and browse around the store and see the items in the
shopping space, rather than rely on a boring grid system grid. The system will
supposedly give users a more intimate experience when shopping.
out the demo myself, and while it has potential, I have to say at this point,
it’s a bit clunky to use and the graphics seem outdated. This is due to the
limited data that Obsess has to limit itself to so that most people can use
their platform. But with the adoption of 5G networks soon, it’s safe to say
that it will only look better and smoother in the future.
VR experiences, a buzzword in the business space is AR technology, a la Pokémon
Go. Yes, that AR. Imagine going to a random location and pointing you camera at
a location, or a specific point, and all of a sudden a shop pops up on your
Camera. This in my opinion is where Obsess can shine. By gamifying a
store and only allowing people who can go to a certain location AND access a
virtual store, you are getting customers to engage and physically go to a
location using gamification. It’s a simple, yet smart idea to take the online
offline and vice versa.
Obsess is in its infancy, and there are several competitors also trying to
change the online shopping space. With faster networks and even more powerful
phones, it’s a matter of time before the way we shop online will radically