Image by: iTunes Screenshots
By Harper Finch
For many women, shopping is a social activity. We spend an afternoon at the mall with our friends to bond and also because we like to get feedback from someone we trust about our potential purchases. Shopping online makes the social aspect a little more difficult. But for those who prefer to buy things online, there’s a new web and mobile app called Whisp that will let you shop online and chat with your friends at the same time.
What is Whisp?
Whisp is a new social shopping platform founded by former McKinsey & Company consultants, Moncef Zizi and Karoon Monfared, with Head of Technology Jassin Meknassi. The website and iPad app were created to overcome challenges associated with traditional e-commerce experiences. It allows users to send and receive private, real-time feedback from friends while shopping, without having to leave the shopping experience. Essentially, Whisp lets you shop together with your friends, online.
Will it Change the Way You Shop?
How do you currently shop online? You search through all your favorite sites, looking for a special item, find it, see that it’s sold out, search for it somewhere else. Eventually, if you are lucky, you find it. Then you message your friends, send them a ton of links, wait for their feedback…. The whole process can be a bit of a pain.
Then, along comes Whisp with a new, groundbreaking platform that reinvents online shiopping. The fully-integrated interface revolutionizes e-commerce by letting you browse your favorite brands, stores, and trends (for men or for women) while instantly messaging your friends on Whisp or through Facebook messaging. This is the future of e-commerce–the place where shopping and social networking intersect.
The most prominent feature of the Whisp app is its exclusive search interface, which eliminates your need to have multiple links, tabs, and windows open at once. To make shopping easier, the app lets you sort items by color, size, and sale.
Your favorite designers and stores are all in one place. You can shop from thousands of products and over 5,000 brands ranging from Givenchy to Urban Outfitters. The collection of brands extends from affordable, fast fashion to high-end luxury items. Very importantly, what sets the app apart from other social apps like Pinterest, is that every item you see on the site is shoppable. You will never fall in love with an item, only to find that it is sold out and you can’t have it.
The built-in messaging feature is a fun way to chat about and plan your purchases. It allows you to drag and drop clothes and accessories that you want to buy into private chat windows, called “Whips.” Even if your friends aren’t on Whisp, you can even drag and drop into Facebook chats. The growing community of advisors, fashion bloggers, and stylists are an additional resource for tips and advice. And specially-designed emoticons, inspired by style stars like Lena Dunham, will make your conversations even more fun.
Ready to check it out? I haven’t used the iPad app, but I can assure you that signing up on the web is a snap. All you need is an email address, a username, and a password, and you’re in. They don’t collect any unnecessary information. Check it out online or get the iPad app from the apple store.
As soon as you join, you will be able to add or invite your friends. You can add friends by searching for them on the Whisp site, by connecting through Facebook, or by emailing them using the link on the site. You can even follow random people to see what they are liking. Even if you don’t invite friends right away, Whisp is a great shopping site, but I don’t think you should completely overlook the social aspect of the app.
Purchases are not made directly through the Whisp app. Instead, you will be redirected to an associated e-commerce site. This means that you will need to pay attention specific details on the e-commerce site from which you are buying. Since they are reputable stores and designer websites, you can feel a little more secure in your purchases. But be aware that every shopping experience will be different, depending on which merchant site you purchase from.
- Always print or save copies of your orders.
- Pay attention to shipping details. These will vary from merchant to merchant.
- Learn the merchant’s return and order-cancellation policies.
- As always, take security precautions when shopping online. Look for the little padlock icon or “https” in the address bar (rather than “http”) when you are checking out. This lets you know your information is encrypted on the merchant’s end.