Consumerhaus, a centralized marketplace selling digitally-native brands that focus on health and wellness, has officially gone live in January 2023, and the platform could become an indicator of what Gen Z shoppers are looking for.
Founded by 25-year-old Harvard University graduate, Claire Spackman, the idea for the e-tailer was originally created to dissipate her frustration of searching for wellness products online. As a former competitive tennis player growing up in a health-conscious household and a Gen Z consumer herself, Spackman notes how social media have become the go-t0 shopping destination for her generation, yet there has been a lack of aggregators of their favored brands.
Through Consumerhaus’ custom-built interface featuring interactive product images and texts, shoppers can navigate either based on categories ranging from superfoods & adaptogens to functional beverages, or via specific brands and their respective propositions — female-founded, clean label, sustainable practices, etc. There are also sectors dedicated to brands under the spotlight and discounted products.
One of the primary goals for Consumerhaus is to forge a deeper connection between the consumer and the value behind each brand through storytelling, according to Spackman.
“Founder and brand storytelling are the foundation, on which Consumerhaus is built,” she told me, and this storytelling, which includes founders’ entrepreneurial journey, interviews, and photos, does not currently exist on any other larger e-commerce players, such as Amazon
“We specifically establish personal relationships with each founder to ensure we are conveying their stories accurately. A lot of people don’t realize that many of these brands started with the founders mixing ingredients in their own tiny kitchens and shipping packages out of their living rooms, and they also don’t realize that a brand’s values are often heavily linked to the founding story.”
This strategy is carefully tailored towards Gen Z shoppers as studies have shown they are more likely to purchase brands they feel aligned in terms of values and lifestyles than older generations.
“On our social media, like Instagram, we have kicked off a ‘Featured Founder’ series with casual one- to two-minute video introductions from the founders themselves so that consumers can actually see the faces behind our brands and listen to founders tell their stories,” Spackman added. “All of this content creation is for the sole purpose of strengthening the emotional connection between brands and consumers.”
Consumerhaus has so far hand-selected 120 brands in its wheelhouse, approximately 700 products in total, including internet frenetic sauce maker Fly By Jing, Behave candy, soft cookie company Mmmly, and extra-virgin olive oil darling Graza. The plan is to continue onboarding more “authentic, trustworthy, and mission-driven emerging brands” in the coming years, according to Spackman, although there aren’t any strict criteria for these brands to meet for eligibility.
“I think it’s important to maintain a good balance of established brands and emerging brands,” she explained, “as the presence of established brands can increase familiarity and trust for the consumer but also provide emerging brands with increased credibility by association.”
Consumerhaus adopts the dropshipping business model, through which all its platform products are delivered directly from the brands’ own warehouses to the consumer without charging any shipping fee regardless their order size. “We decided that dropshipping would make the most sense for our marketplace as most of our brands — by nature of being digitally-native — have invested heavily into their unboxing experience, and we wanted to preserve that magic for the end consumer,” said Spackman. But her ultimate vision for Consumerhaus is far beyond an e-commerce marketplace.
“In the near future, we plan to offer subscriber-only, limited-edition drops of products in collaboration with some of our brands, as well as implement a loyalty program for consumers to earn rewards for shopping at Consumerhaus,” she added. “I also see a lot of different avenues Consumerhaus could expand into in the future, including becoming a resource hub for founders, a springboard for new product and brand launches, or a valuable asset for data, trends, and research in the industry.”