Local ShoppingHow a Gen Z-founded digital marketplace is trying to reach coveted young...

How a Gen Z-founded digital marketplace is trying to reach coveted young shoppers

What do Generation Z shoppers want?

It’s a question that’s becoming more and more pressing for grocers. With the eldest members of the generation turning 26 in the new year, Gen Z young adults are beginning to budget, graduate, enter the professional workforce and run their own households — which includes the age-old chore of food shopping.

To better resonate with the younger generation, many grocers have updated their marketing strategies, including utilizing social media, investing in more sustainable packaging and food options, supporting smaller businesses and, overall, ramping up their online presence.

But according to Claire Spackman, what Gen Z consumers really want isn’t just connectivity, but also a connection to where they shop, the products they buy and the people that make them. That’s why Spackman, a Gen Zer herself, decided to start Consumerhaus, a fully curated online market looking to become a central grocery shopping hub for Gen Z consumers.

Spackman has hand-selected every brand featured on Consumerhaus, based not only on product quality, but also on the resonance of the brand’s marketing and social media promotions for Gen Z shoppers.

Claire Spackman, founder of Consumerhaus

Courtesy of Consumerhaus


The shopping platform, which has no membership fee, is preparing to launch on Jan. 3 with over 700 products from more than 100 small brands that produce food and beverage products, health and wellness goods, pet supplies and personal care items. Sixty percent of its assortment will be grocery items.

“There’s no centralized platform where we can find these types of products that are what Gen Z are looking for as well as the stories and faces behind these products,” Spackman said.

Curation of smaller brands

Online marketplaces that offer an assortment of niche goods are nothing new. Thrive Market, Misfits Market, Public Goods and Verishop, among others, have established themselves by offering a more limited selection of goods compared to the sprawling assortment often found at supermarkets.

Where Consumerhaus looks to stand out is by forging an even deeper connection between shoppers and its products through detailed founder backstories, a heavy social media presence and leveraging brands to take initiative in marketing themselves. 

For one, Spackman has personally written up each brand’s founder story, which will be featured on the Consumerhaus website when it launches.

Spackman said Consumerhaus strives to be not only a shopping website but a way for onboarded brands to take the lead in marketing their products. A key part of this is relying on drop shipping rather than holding products in a central warehouse, which will save on overhead costs and allow the brand’s packaging to stand out.

“Most of these brands have invested very, very heavily into the unboxing experience. So when you actually receive the package, it’s sometimes a very educational piece where [the brands] have information on how to use the product in the actual package, and more of the brand storytelling piece,” Spackman said. “So the customer really gets to feel like part of the journey in a way.”

Spackman didn’t feel Consumerhaus could live up to those packaging details if it had opted for direct shipping. Consumerhaus offers free shipping on everything purchased through the website, even if the brand independently does not offer free shipping.

Before onboarding a brand, Spackman ensures that it has a reliable, speedy shipping process. “I think that’s kind of a necessity in today’s world, thanks to Amazon,” she said. 

Though drop shipping does mean brands will be responsible for covering shipping fees, which is common with this business model, Consumerhaus’ brand partnerships allow each brand to receive the MSRP they are normally retailing for, which is not always a given with drop shipping retailers. Consumerhaus then takes its own commission percentage on each sale, Spackman said.

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