Skip to main content

Sift takes your annoying e-commerce emails and turns them into a beautiful catalogue

sift shopping

We’re all sick of the e-commerce emails cluttering our inbox – to that end, we’d like you to meet Sift. Sift takes your boring emails from the fashion brands that you’ve signed up to receive email digests from, and redisplays these promotional emails in a fashionable and spruced up interface. A format that might make you actually want to buy something. The platform launched in November 2012, and has just acquired a seed investment round, along with scooping up John Deyto who will take the position of Director of Creative and User Experience, who has done branding work for Ralph Lauren, Pepsi, and Gilt Groupe.

The beauty of Sift is all in its interface. Content, which in this case are deals, sales, and other such items, are essentially self-curated by its users since they are the ones signing up for these shopping-related mailing lists. By nature this offloads most of the technical work for Sift. So what’s crucial to get followers returning to its iPad app (it’s currently available for iPad only).

Related Videos
sift landing page

In short, Sift is a mobile platform that sources content from emails – and it does so beautifully. While Shah declined to reveal any specific figures on the number of users and usage, since he’s saving this for later, he says that the user engagement on Sift “blows away” the retention rate of emails. That doesn’t go to say that email isn’t an effective platform for sales. Even today email is one of the best ways to reach and target consumers. But email wasn’t built to sell products; it’s a communication channel at its core. This disconnect is what inspired Shah to create Sift.

Email is just the first step, though. Shawn Wang, co-founder of Baidu and Deep Nishar, Senior Vice President of LinkedIn, are among the investors in Sift’s $540,000 seed funding round – a cue Sift is trying to hit social. Eventually, Sift will be able to curate sales and deals from Twitter and Facebook, with other outlets coming later, according to Sift’s early roadmap.

The team is also working on social gamification features. However Shah declined to comment on the details, but offered a broad overview by saying that aspects of the “traditional gaming world” will be make its way onto Sift in a manner that makes sense for a shopper.

Sift is apparently performing beyond Shah’s expectations, although we’ll have to wait for hard numbers. And as for a smartphone app? That’s also coming soon.

Editors' Recommendations

TikTok should be expelled from app stores, senator says
TikTok icon illustration.

The wildly popular TikTok app continues to come under pressure from U.S. lawmakers.

Many are concerned that ByteDance, the Beijing-based company behind the app, has close ties with the Chinese government, and that laws in China mean it could be required to hand over user data to the government to assist in intelligence gathering.

Read more
Yay! Twitter has just become less annoying
Twitter logo in white stacked on top of a blue stylized background with the Twitter logo repeating in shades of blue.

A couple of weeks after Twitter said it was working on it, the company has finally updated its Android and iPhone apps so that you once again return to the timeline that you were looking at last.

Read more
Twitter expands tweet character limit massively
A lot of white Twitter logos against a blue background.

If you often find that 280 characters are too few for you to be able to effectively express yourself on Twitter, then perhaps 4,000 characters will suffice.

Beginning on Wednesday, Twitter now lets you post tweets with a maximum of 4,000 characters, 28.6 times more than the mere 140 characters available when Twitter launched in 2006, and 14.3 times more than the current limit of 240.

Read more