To help millennials declutter their shopping, Figliulo & Partners is debuting its own product review site. Quiddity offers recommendations in product categories like blenders, mattresses and renters' insurance through a proprietary algorithm that computes scores based on expert and customer reviews, brand heritage and retail category. The site, similar to Wirecutter and Consumer Reports, launches this week.
"We thought we can create an experience that gives them all the information they want at their fingertips, but with the storytelling," says Mark Figliulo, founder and CEO of F&P. Consumers, particularly urban millennials, he says, have a fragmented shopping experience that offers too much information.
As younger consumers change their shopping habits and startups offer more e-commerce sites, there is more interest in product reviews to pare things down. In 2016, The New York Times bought review site Wirecutter—and its sister site, Sweethome—for $30 million, for example. According to reports, the site was bringing in between $10 million and $20 million a year at that time.
Figliulo and his partners are funding the new venture, which operates out of F&P's headquarters in New York's SoHo neighborhood, and has 10 full-time staffers. Named for the "essence" of an object, Quiddity also collects revenue from brands who pay to tell their stories in a separate brand stories section, and offers editorial articles. Roughly 85 percent of content is video.
"The advertising world right now is primarily based on interruptive media—you're watching a show or on your social feed and it's brought to you by advertisers," says Figliulo. "We're trying to create something different you wouldn't want to block, where advertisers are part of the inspiration."
The editorial content is meant to continually draw consumers back to the site as a research source.
"By bringing together all of these different sources of information, we're giving you everything in one place," says Judith Carr-Rodriguez, founding partner and president of F&P.
Figliulo says Quiddity expects to eventually do a capital raise for more revenue. The company has a small media budget to spread the word across digital channels. It debuts with six categories—meal kits, renters' insurance, wireless headphones, mattresses, blenders and wearable trackers—and will expand to 12 by year's end.