Context is everything and in the case of San Francisco home goods retailer Batch, contextual commerce equals conversion.
The company, which recently opened its first showroom, aims to begin rollout of what founder and chief executive officer Lindsay Meyer called a hub-and-spoke model on future retail for the company, which aims to be a marketplace for beauty, home, art, electronics and food products.
That means Batch’s San Francisco space in a 101-year-old historic firehouse will ultimately serve as the hub showroom with future six- to eight-week pop-ups in the vicinity to be held in real residences. The first of those is likely to open by year’s end in San Francisco with expansion outside of the city as early as next year, Meyer said.
“Part of what’s catalyzed us is the growth and profile of e-commerce brands. Yet, if you talk to some of these entrepreneurs, they have a lot of success popping up in these physical locations,” said Meyer, who previously worked at home goods e-tailer One Kings Lane.
Batch is currently working with about 19 brands at a time with a new set of lines to be switched in every eight to 10 weeks. The current lineup is set to be in the showroom through Halloween and includes Parachute Home, Grown Alchemist, Voyage et Cie and Far & Wide Collective.
“If you shop at Pottery Barn or you shop at West Elm it’s a very singular kind of design perspective, but the beauty of Batch is we’re working with all these different brands,” Meyer said. “It’s all about the mix of high and low because that’s how people actually shop. Sometimes you buy sheets at Target, but you put them on a really good bed frame.”
The San Francisco showroom includes ground floor space totaling roughly 3,000 square feet with a mezzanine level that’s about 1,000 square feet. A portion of the space also serves as headquarters for Batch’s five employees.
Part of the premise on which Batch was built is in the concept of contextual commerce. That is, placing products in their relevant environments when presenting them to consumers. Being able to see and touch, for example, a $3,000 sofa or $5,000 rug, in a space that mimics the comforts of home, makes it easier to rationalize the buy some would say.
The company, which is aimed at Millennials, has won the attention of Montage Ventures with a seed round of less than $1 million closed right after Memorial Day. Montage has also invested in companies such as Carbon38 and Project September.
For More West Coast News in WWD: