Online Retailer of the Week: Wantworthy

Wantworthy homepage

A new start-up shopping tool, Wantworthy, might put the days of stressful gift-buying to rest — for good.  The site lets users put together personal wish-lists of items from anywhere on the internet.  The result is like an all-encompassing, freestanding registry for your entire life.

The technology is really simple — just add an “I Want It” toolbar to your browser and click it while on the page of any item you’d like to save.  A small Wantworthy window will pop up, and the item will be entered to your list back on the site.  The trickiest part, right now, is getting an invite code to join.  We requested one, and were granted a “spot” and the requisite code about eight hours later.  However, the site seems to be encouraging friends to bring each other in — once we joined and sent out an invitation, a code was emailed to our recipient immediately.

This was just the first indicator that Wantworthy is capitalizing on social media from the outset — the pop-up window that appears when saving an item also offers an option to tweet the product.  The site also lets users share their entire lists via email, Facebook, or Twitter — an entirely new era of the “hint, hint” approach to birthdays and anniversaries.  Of course, if that’s not your style, the saving feature is a useful personal-organization tool.

The site itself is good looking and easy to navigate. Though it doesn’t sell anything itself, its general appearance and tone bring to mind the hip-yet-accessible attractiveness of, say, The Outnet.  Joshua Wais and Lauren McDevitt, the site’s founders, were part of Techstars NYC, which has an acceptance rate of 1.1 % and puts participants through a challenging accelerated three-month program to get their start-ups up and running.  It’s no wonder, then, that the result exhibits such thorough attention to detail.  As a user add items to his or her wish-list, for instance, a sidebar automatically updates a running list of stores from whence the user has products saved.  Clicking any store’s name will modify the page to show items just from that retailer.

Users can also further refine their lists by designating items as favorites, or noting which products they’ve actually, well, purchased.  (Or they can easily delete them all together).  Furthermore, while the site offers a few editors’ lists featuring clothing and accessories (think curated indexes of trends like tassels and lace) we tried saving a vintage grape bin from ABC Carpet & Home, and that worked too.  Frankly, we think it goes quite well with a white Alexander Wang dress — now who are we going to hit up on Facebook and send this wish-list to?