In an undistinguishable sea of paid posts, inflated reviews and yes, fake news, it’s sometimes hard to get a real recommendation that you can trust. Enter MASSE, the new app that strives to help you discover the best products from those who know. MASSE is the new shopping platform that is reinventing the way consumers find and purchase products - from strollers to mascara. MASSE was founded by powermom duo - Jet.com’s first and second Product Managers, Elizabeth Shaffer and Lizzy Brockhoff.
MASSE was built as a platform that makes it simple for friends to ask for and share product recommendations with their most trusted resources - each other- with community and credibility at its core - completely free of sponsored posts, fake reviews, or any type of paid-for content. MASSE organizes recommendations in your network by category - Baby Products, Beauty & Personal Care, Home & Garden, and Health & Wellness - to provide users with an efficient way to find the best products for themselves and their family. Following the launch, Beauty has quickly emerged as the most active category.
MASSE has an honesty and transparency about it that makes searching and shopping fun again. The user experience is totally addicting - and it feels genuinely satisfying to recommend products that you know work. We chatted to Elizabeth and Lizzy about building the product that everyone needs right now.
There's so much noise in the product recommendation space and Masse aims to cut through that - what led both of you to this conclusion? We have worked together in e-commerce for 6+ years and had spent a lot of time talking to consumers, understanding their shopping habits. We had heard over and over again that they were overwhelmed by the number of options, and didn’t know who to trust. This became very real for us when we were both expecting our first babies (due one day apart!) and had to put together our baby registries. During this process, we discovered the phenomenon of the baby list, which are giant excel spreadsheets that moms send their expectant friends, full of product recommendations. We realized first hand that most people just ask their friends for advice, and we wanted to create a digital platform for that.
What's been the most exciting part about building an app - and brand? The most exciting part has been watching our community help each other out. We still get a kick when we see one user answering another user’s question, and the app genuinely connecting people in a positive way.
What about the most challenging? The balancing act of managing a startup at the same time as trying to present for your family.
What category do of recommendations excites you both most? We’d say that beauty is probably the most fun to browse, we’re always getting new ideas from our users, but baby products are probably the most helpful!
It's an exciting time to be female founders - does it feel empowering to be building something at this juncture? Yes, we wish there were more of us, but we’ve felt very supported by our investors and peers! We would be remiss to not ask for some recommendations - what are some of your favorite spots in New York? Elizabeth: My favorite restaurant in the city is Pearl Oyster Bar on Cornelia Street. The best lobster roll in the city! Lizzy: My favorite is Carbone What other apps could you not live without? Elizabeth: Lyft, Dark Sky, Slack, Outlook and Evernote Lizzy: Slack, Whatsapp, Uber, Evernote, world time clock