Tech-savvy foodies have probably heard of Gojee at this point — it’s the popular site that takes what you have in your pantry and lets you search and discover recipes based on your personal taste and available items. So imagine our surprise to open the Gojee homepage and find shiny stilettos and evening gowns gracing the site where chicken and tacos once appeared. Beginning Wednesday, Gojee has launched several new verticals (heels, bags, dresses, lingerie, and jewelry), under the idea that visual and emotional discovery will be the linchpin of the web. And don’t worry — the recipes aren’t going anywhere.
“When you’re in the restaurant and you see a dish go by you’re like, ‘Wow, I want that,’ and you don’t really need 20 data points to know,” said Gojee CEO Michael LaValle. “Most of the web is so text and data-oriented, and we don’t think it’s necessarily the ideal way that people make decisions around emotional things.”
And when you start browsing the beautiful dresses and shoes on Gojee, the addition of the new vertical starts to make more sense (although taking the plunge for Louis Vuitton shoes is a little pricier than buying ingredients even for the nicest steak dish.) Gojee’s new verticals are mostly high-end items from brands like Marc Jacobs, Herve Leger, Chanel, as well as a few other more obscure brands. Most of the items are at least several hundred dollars, and many are in the thousands.
“When a girl walks into Louis Vuitton to look at shoes, she generally knows how much they cost, she doesn’t care if they’re made in Thailand or France, and she knows she’ll like it. So she’ll look at the shoes and be like, ‘This is what I want.’ She doesn’t need to read three pages on the shoe,” LaValle said.
Gojee’s visual nature is often compared to that of Pinterest, LaValle said, but sometimes the experience of hunting through items on Pinterest can feel like looking for “diamonds in the rough.” So by limiting items to high-quality items, Gojee ensures that there’s a better chance users will like what they see, and the site can comfortably highlight individual images without crowding the page for density.
He also noted that no, the beloved food and drink sections aren’t going away — so users who love them have no need to worry. And looking forward, he hopes to expand into other categories like men’s fashion, home decor, and others. The site just launched its mobile apps in September, and the new verticals will fit on those platforms as well.
From a business perspective, it’s not clear that the site is focused on making sales right away — presumably there aren’t that many people who make $73,000 jewelry impulse purchases. But Pinterest has proven that if you can attract plenty of attention and eyeballs on your site, monetization is never far off on the horizon. (LaValle noted that they’ve had a variety of high-end liquor brands asking to advertise on the site’s food and liquor verticals.) So can Gojee make a name for itself amid the multitude of other fashion discovery sites out there? Remains to be seen. But until then, happy browsing. (Just maybe steer clear of the lingerie section while you’re at work.)