Curate’s online mall lets shoppers write a wish list with a difference

  • News
  • April 2, 2015
  • Elly Strang
Curate’s online mall lets shoppers write a wish list with a difference

The website is the perfect way for users to drop a subtle hint about what they want for their next birthday, as well as keep a record of all their lusted-after items in one place.

Designer Nicky Walsh, 26, co-founded the site with her brother Sam, 24, who is a software developer.

She says it was born out a frustration with shopping online.

“It usually involves visiting so many different websites and it’s pretty lonely as well,” she says.

“The idea of Curate was to build a place where you could create your own version of a mall online by following your friends, stores you’re interested in, and then get a feed of products that are relevant to you.”

The items that appear on the site are based on recommendations. Curate members save products from any online shop, and the products are then added to Curate’s database.

The site is targeted at 20 to 30 year olds.

Walsh says there are about 400 different retailers currently on the site, and 50 stores who have customised their “store” page and added items.

Retailers range from small, indie brands through to large retailers like Topshop and Freedom Furniture.

She says they’re keen to get small to medium-sized online retailers on board who sell well-designed, great products.

“Curate allows up-and-coming brands to gain exposure within an audience of socially engaged shoppers,” she says.

Though the site is beautifully laid out in a stripped-back, product-focused design, Walsh says that’s not the most important factor for online shopping – it’s tapping into the social space and the power of word of mouth.

“The site allows peers to influence buying decisions and assist with the discovery of new products,” she says.

“It comes down to the idea that people are more likely to purchase products they discover through friends and colleagues.”

She says whether the item is bought online or offline comes down to the user’s personal preferences, although generally users purchase online.

“However, I think with mobile and other emerging technologies, the space between offline and online is becoming very interesting,” she says.

About 70 percent of the site’s users visit on mobile, she says. The Curate team will look to explore that space more with an app in the future.

For now, Curate has exciting plans lined up for this year with retailers as the focus.

It will soon launch a seamless integration with Shopify that lets retailers sync their entire inventory to their Curate page.

She says watch this space. 

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