One of the biggest problems people have regarding birthdays and the holidays is choosing the right present for a person. Do I do a gag gift? Will they think it’s funny? Do I give a serious gift? A single expensive gift? Two smaller, less expensive gifts? A gift basket? The list goes on and on, and we haven’t even gotten to the less meaningful and semi-lame fallback option: The Cash Giftcard.
Rectifying this problem is a startup called Wantful. Wantful works by helping the user select gifts for other people, based on information given about the recipient. The user enters information about the person receiving the gift, by answering very simple prompts about the person. The user answers 10 or so questions, then chooses a price range, and a host of options is displayed. The user then chooses 16 of these options, and a booklet is sent to the recipient, with the recipient then choosing which gift they want.
To test out the incredibly well-designed questionnaire, I answered the questions about myself and I have to say, I would love to get any of the gifts displayed, in any price range (for example, if you send me 8 dried New York-cut steaks, I’ll
probably write about your startup say thank you). Needless to say, it is understandable why both gift-giver and gift-receiver would be ecstatic about the service.
Wantful has also received funding from a number of notable institutions and angel investors, including Greylock Partners, Dennis Crowley, Dave Morin and Brian Lee, among others*. It now appears that they are putting that funding to use with a new hire they are announcing today. Wantful is announcing that they have hired former eBay marketer Clint Schmidt as VP of Marketing. Schmidt previously was in charge of overhauling eBay’s affiliate program and grew it into the largest affiliate program on the web, and will be working to accelerate Wantful’s growth.
In addition, Wantful has also shared with us that the customer retention rate has been remaining strong. Following the holiday rush, 35% of gift givers have returned to the site to buy multiple gifts for others, with 10% of their customers buying four or more gifts in the past two months. On top of this, 20% of customers are people who previously received gifts via Wantful, and go to the site to buy gifts for other people.
Although the company is going strong, and has remained popular following the holidays, they will be facing increased competition this year as more startups enter the gift-giving and e-commerce space. That being said, their design is easier on the eyes, and simpler to use than the recommendation engines offered by competitors such as Amazon. Moving forward, this will be a startup to watch.
*Disclosure: Greylock Partners is an investor in PandoDaily, the rest are not. They are still great people though, and we can still be friends.