Shoptalk Series, Part 4 Need Supply Co. and Wayfair: Setting the Standard for Next-Gen Shopping

What if you could virtually “feel” a fabric swatch when you’re shopping for a sofa on your smartphone?

That tech isn’t available yet, but the team at Wayfair is already imagining how it would work. Meanwhile, the company is making online shopping more lifelike by letting customers use their live camera feed and the Wayfair app to visualize how furniture would look in their own living room.

Need Supply Co., which sells luxury fashion and premium streetwear online and in its stores in the US and Japan, uses cultural curation to drive engagement. The company mixes products from around the globe and sorts them in a way that’s unique, offering a clear point of view that shoppers can’t find on other sites. It’s also creating authentic original content that its millennial customers love to share online.

For the last episode of our four-part “Retales From the Frontline” Shoptalk series, presented by Mastercard, host Matt Rubel sat down with Wayfair’s Director of Next Gen Experiences, Shrenik Sadalgi, and Need Supply Co. Founder and CEO Chris Bossola to discuss what they’ve learned about how millennials browse and shop today, and how they’re using those insights to create next-gen shopping experiences that are setting the industry standard.

Bossola and Sadalgi said next-gen shopping is all about:

  • Rich visuals and movie-quality AR/VR apps that make online shoppers feel like they’re actually in a store.
  • A global cultural link that’s influencing shopping behavior across countries. Social media has made it easy for New Yorkers to find the coolest products from Germany and for shoppers around the world to share their cultural influences with each other.
  • Inspiration, not aspiration, meaning that millennials think of “value” in terms of social good, not just price.

Millennials have already changed the nature of shopping, which is more casual, constant and communal than in the past. To hear more about how these changes will play out in the next generation of retail experiences, listen to the full episode.