The Hunt: What it is and why you need to know about it:
The Hunt is for those moments when you see something and say to yourself ‘I love that. Where can I buy something like that?’ These moments seem to happen most frequently on visual websites like Instagram, Tumblr & Pinterest but can happen anywhere online or off.
I literally ‘stumbled upon’ The Hunt while I was posting articles to the StartUpFASHION Stumbleupon page last week and not only was I impressed at the gorgeous images users were posting of the latest in fashion, home décor and gourmet food items but I was excited to learn that the purpose of The Hunt is to challenge other users to uncover where to shop for your most coveted items so you can cross them off your wishlist and make them your own.
WHO IS THE HUNT FOR? -The Hunt is for expert shoppers with the taste and eye to find unique products and for others who are hunting for these same items. In particular, those who want to buy from more interesting brands & stores than the same old big-box retailers.
Users (aka Hunters) upload photos of items they’re searching for. The Hunt allows uploads from Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and websites to encourage creativity and social sharing. As a Hunter, you fill in a simple chart with the description of the item, the maximum amount you’re willing to spend to purchase it and choose applicable categories related to what you’re looking for to narrow it down.
I particularly like the ‘hunt type’ feature which asks if what you desire is ‘similar’ to what’s in the photo, if you want ‘this look for less’ if you’re just looking for something that ‘goes with this’ or if you really want ‘this exactly – money is no object’. This feature definitely opens the doors for multiple websites to be linked to each item.
Users doing the hunting online for you will post links to various purchasable products from across the web using your criteria in their search. The Hunt developers encourage users to be as creative as possible and to post websites for the merchandise aside from the obvious that everyone would already know about.
This is ideal for anyone in retail with goods for sale as these links are viewable by everyone in The Hunt community, driving traffic and potential customers to websites, boutiques and Etsy stores not otherwise uncovered in a general Google search.
As an owner of a boutique just getting started, for example, The Hunt provides a perfect platform for you to link to your website; either when you have an exact match to something a Hunter is looking for, or when a Hunter is wondering ‘what goes with this’ and you’re given the opportunity to style them by directing them (and all other Hunters who are also curious) to your boutique and your merchandise.
As an emerging designer, this platform is even more ideal as it may give new buyers their first look at your latest collection. Because The Hunt is so encouraging of social sharing, you can be sure links to your site and your product will be shared amongst users of other various social sites including Facebook and Twitter, essentially providing you with additional free marketing and perhaps a new demographic of customers you have yet to reach out to on your own.
The Hunt only launched in April 2012 but has become a very active community in just a few short months. Their values are catchy as they preach good karma and respect for all users and the developers are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure The Hunt remains an ‘Oasis of Awesome’
Whether you’re a Hunter or prefer to be Hunted, a few hours spent helping out this community will not only open your eyes to the latest trends and what the ‘must haves’ of the moment might be; but it’s without a doubt a great opportunity to increase traffic to your website and solve the ‘where can I find that outfit!?’ crisis we’ve all had a time or two.