Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
One of the biggest drawbacks to social shopping sites is the checkout process. Window shopping is encouraged all day long but checking out is a whole different ball game involving site redirects, dead links and other annoyances.
Yesterday, Keep announced that they had figured out a way to circumvent that problem through a universal shopping cart supported on the company's Apple mobile app. Users in the US can browse and save products to boards just like before but when they're ready to buy, they won't be redirected to another site. Instead, Keep saves each user's credit card and shipping info so that the checkout process is reduced to simply clicking "Buy" and "Checkout".
Other standard checkout details, like cashing in on coupons and signing up for email newsletters, will be available through the app. "The customer is always aware of the retailer the items will be shipped from and we're building the systems so consumers can opt-in to the retailers newsletters as they checkout with Keep," the company told Racked via email.
They'll also give estimates for shipping and tax on each order at checkout, although Keep can't confirm those numbers until the order is processed through the retailer. If the number ends up going above the estimate, Keep alerts the customer before the card is charged.
Under normal circumstances, you have to already be a Keep devotee in order to try out the new feature. Those who are just signing up for the app now would regularly be placed on a wait list while Keep monitors the success of the feature with existing users. But wait! We've got 100 passes available to let Racked readers cut the line and take the new feature for a spin rightnow. Just download the app and email firstname.lastname@example.org with your newly minted username (or email address) and they'll push you to the front of the line.