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Episode 297
March 31, 2023

How Thingtesting Became Yelp for DTC and CPG Brands

What role do reviews have in building a business and how can they aid in building community? What is the value of print versus in-person events and the typical stream of digital content? Listen in to hear what Natalie Sportelli as she tells us about the future of commerce.

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What role do reviews have in building a business and how can they aid in building community? What is the value of print versus in-person events and the typical stream of digital content? Listen in to hear what Natalie Sportelli as she tells us about the future of commerce.

“The Trustworthiness of Tone”

  • {00:07:42} “What really sets us apart is creating a Yelp equivalent of trusting other people's experiences with brands to help inform your own.” - Natalie
  • {00:12:46} There is really interesting psychology behind why people like to write reviews, whether it be to help the brands or to help other people like perhaps reviews have helped them
  • {00:16:04} Natalie finds the most interesting reviews to be the three-star reviews that start with phrases such as, “I really wanted to like this, but…” because they offer more insight and also can bring more understanding to the whole of the experience
  • {00:18:28} “The role of reviews will only become more important as companies continue to think about building with consumers, community formation, and then creating a product that is actually innovative and is going to stand out and break out in the market.” - Natalie
  • {00:24:52} At the end of the day, a person responsible for content wants to create content that people really want
  • {00:27:50} Printed content has a unique ability to continue to engage with your audience for a longer period of time and in ways that build more depth in the relationship, and there is a lot more for brands to discover in their use of printed content over just digital content
  • {00:29:44} “What we do on the Internet is not just ephemeral, it's also asynchronous. Asynchronous communication requires a level of attention and detail that leaves a gap between you and the person that you're communicating with, and doing things in person allows us to help eliminate some of that gap and be human together.” - Brian

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Phillip: [00:00:09] Hey, before we get into today's episode, I want to remind you we have a YouTube channel where you can see what's happening here on the podcast. We have a couple of visual cues for you today as we show off the Thingtesting magazine and Archetypes in our interview with Natalie Sportelli. So go over today and check it out. It's and subscribe. That'll help us out. Let's get into the show.

Brian: [00:02:09] Hello and welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about the next generation of commerce. I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:02:14] I'm Phillip. Today we are joined by the Head of Content at Thingtesting, Natalie Sportelli. Welcome to the show.

Brian: [00:02:20] Welcome.

Natalie: [00:02:21] Thanks so much for having me. I'm a big fan of yours.

Phillip: [00:02:24] Oh, we're it's like the mutual admiration society. We're fans of yours and everything that's been built over the last couple of years over at Thingtesting and the partnership that we've had going I think on six months now since we launched Archetypes. And you guys were part of that. So we're going to dive into a bunch of that today. We're going to talk a little bit, too, about the role of user-generated content and the Cambrian explosion of brand that we've had over the past couple of years, which it's hard to navigate that sort of thing and maybe Thingtesting is one of those companies that's helping solve that in the world. But Natalie, give us a little bit of a primer on Thingtesting for those who aren't already up to speed.

Natalie: [00:03:05] Yeah, so Thingtesting is a third party review platform for online brands. You can find anything from Function of Beauty to Allbirds to things that are just launching, but we're really trying to create that hub for discovery research and reviews of any of the brands kind of born on the Internet.

Phillip: [00:03:21] Great. And there are lots of brands born on the Internet these days.

Natalie: [00:03:25] So many.

Phillip: [00:03:26] Generally, across the platform, what causes growth for Thingtesting and what are the kinds of things that you're doing to continue to encourage that growth?

Natalie: [00:03:35] Yeah. So over the last couple of years, our SEO has really kicked off, which is really exciting because when you think about how people discover brands and read reviews online, they are very intent-driven usually. So let's say I wanted to look for Otherland candle reviews, Thingtesting should be hopefully on page one. So we're seeing a lot of growth from that. And then also through social. We launched TikTok a year ago, which was a huge experiment, but ultimately very successful. So yeah, so intent-driven people and then finding new people with our message on social really.

Brian: [00:04:08] Nice. And what's your path to Thingtesting? How did you get involved?

Natalie: [00:04:15] Yeah. So I had a really interesting job right out of school where I joined Forbes and I was Associate Editor for 30 under 30, which is, as we know, a well known brand today. And it was really fascinating working and covering startups and founders and entrepreneurs. And I felt like I had a lot of exposure to young people doing really exciting things and telling their stories and building the franchise out, which was, you know, a very good experience, especially out of school covering under 30 and also being under 30. But from there, I wanted to work more closely with founders and have more exposure to the startup world more directly. And so when I joined Lerer Hippeau as their Content and Brand Manager, that was kind of at the time a newer role in VC, at least in New York. So I was able to kind of help tell the story of Lerer Hippeau and build the brand there at the same time supporting founders and startups. The next step obviously was joining one, so that's why I'm at Thingtesting now.

Phillip: [00:05:12] That's the next logical evolution. I guess the next next logical evolution for you is to launch a host of brands on your own, and maybe that's the path you're on. Does being around the world of capital allocation, founders, building businesses from scratch, does that sort of inspire you or is that just part of the way that you tell stories is to help others in their journey of building things?

Natalie: [00:05:41] Yeah. You know, I really value perspectives. I kind of joke with my husband that I'm like collecting my infinity stones of perspectives.

Brian: [00:05:50] {laughter}

Natalie: [00:05:50] So I don't know what the next one is, but the startup inside building a startup perspective, the media perspective of here's the bird's eye view, obviously trying to be objective and tell reality. And then investors who are kind of supporting and also in the intermediary of involved in the success directly benefit from the success of a startup. So I think there's a lot of correlations between having a bird's eye view, then being in the weeds, objectivity in storytelling... It's like every layer of these experiences resonates. Building through stories, reaching people, and communicating why people should pay attention to you is essentially everything that I've kind of focused on.

Phillip: [00:06:35] You're the Head of Content. I'm sure that you have KPIs and OKRs that lead the brand of Thingtesting to have to engage more, put more out into the world, and have people pay more attention. What is it like for you in the role when people sort of equate Thingtesting to Consumer Reports or Wirecutter for DTC? And does that level a lot of expectation as to what you're trying to build or do you have your own path?

Natalie: [00:07:02] Yeah, I think it's a good question. One thing I always learned or kind of kept in mind in media was people want to think, "This is the Uber for X." Okay, well, it helps create that association. But when you are really doing something different, it's not as directly helpful. The thing that sets Thingtesting apart is we have thousands of user reviews that are on a third-party destination untouched by brand,  kind of getting in the weeds on that or having them post it on their own site. And so we're not telling people necessarily, "This is the best of this thing." It's really users sharing their own experiences and helping other people. So I think  [00:07:42]that what really sets us apart is creating a Yelp equivalent of trusting other people's experiences with brands to help inform your own. [00:07:50] I think that's what really sets us apart. It's hard to build something like that where you're motivating people to come to you and create content and create UGC on your platform with no financial incentive.

Brian: [00:08:04] That sort of plays into this trend of de influencing we've seen a little bit. Do you consider yourself de influencers or influencers or fully outside of the idea of influencing at all?

Natalie: [00:08:19] Yeah. I think that we've had a lot of influencer marketing kind of tossed at us over the years as consumers. And so when de influencing kind of took off a couple months ago now, I think people found it really refreshing to not have to keep up with the rat race of needing a Dyson hair wrap or whatever. And like all of these brands needing all of the brands that kind of you're seeing on your feeds all the time. So I think what caught on with de influencing and what kind of carries over to Thingtesting is really that perspective of you don't really need this or it didn't necessarily work for me, maybe it'll work for you. But it's those perspectives of not promotional, not hype-y, and just offering information and honest experiences that really resonated with people. And that's why we see people really attracted to Thingtesting too.

Brian: [00:09:08] I love this. This reminds me of something we've talked about a lot on Future Commerce [00:09:12]. Phenomenology is this idea of experience being one of the ways in which we can interpret the world. Everything is contextual and so I love what you're doing by capturing honest viewpoints and saying, "Hey, this has worked for me in this situation," versus, "Hey, this thing is good or this thing is bad." It's a complete viewpoint than just like, "Oh yeah, I was happy about this because it solved a specific need." It was like, "Oh, no, it solved this need in this situation. And I was happy at the moment that I engaged with it. So I was probably extra happy when I used it," or "I did it with other people and that improved my experience," or whatever it is. There are markers that we're missing in typical reviews cycles right now, whether it be solely expert opinions, like Wirecutter, or just the mass market of Amazon and where you have to wade through fake reviews and improperly assigned reviews and just also a muck of stars for whatever reasons. One star because the packaging was nicked. [00:10:30] Instead of focusing on...

Phillip: [00:10:32] You need therapy, man. It sounds like something... Who hurt you?

Brian: [00:10:36] No. Online reviewers hurt me, man.

Phillip: [00:10:39] Natalie, you could actually maybe take this back to de influencing and kind of define what de influencing is for some people and maybe then relate it back to what Brian's talking about as sort of this innate distrust about other people's experiences.

Natalie: [00:10:52]  [00:10:52]Yeah, de influencing is really just simply like, "You don't have to buy this because I did and it didn't live up to my expectations," for the most part. I think that the role of reviews is to obviously help people make more informed purchase decisions. One of the funny things, Brian, that I think about a little bit is like when brands say, "10,005 star reviews," but they don't say how many one star reviews because it's all again, the contextualization of you have potentially all of these positive experiences. But people always want to read the negative reviews first because they want to know what are the pitfalls. And if they can't find that, they're not going to make the most informed purchase decision. [00:11:33]

Phillip: [00:11:34] Very few brands actually would use that as like a badge of honor. It reminds me once upon a time, Brian, it was John Swords who worked at Turn-to at the time. He told us that his favorite one star review was a two page ad that I think it was Porsche that took out. It says "One star. Too fast." Very few companies or brands can sort of use those as badges of honor. When you're looking at the context of building a ratings platform and trust, how do you instill trust with someone who looks to Thingtesting as a credible source? And how do you do that specifically through your remit through content, Natalie?

Natalie: [00:12:20] Yeah. So on a user level, every user has to be verified. We have a ton of new trust features that we're working on all the time. From flagging reviews to on your profile level, putting a lot of information about yourself. It's really interesting because I think there's a general feeling of, "Oh, I don't want to say something mean, but I do want my voice heard." So there's a level of completing your profile because you want to be seen as trustworthy. There's something really interesting too, around the people who want to write reviews on Thingtesting because they understand the value reviews have for brands. And then you also have the people who think that reviews help them, so they should share reviews to help other people. So there's a lot of psychology around what makes something trustworthy. So outside of the brand pages and the users themselves, I think if I have a specialty, it's really creating a brand and content that is reputable and credible. And I think that partly comes from the journalism background. Then also a brand that people want to care about. And I think that it's really hard to make people care about content and make it feel personable, exclusive, and something they want to be attached to. But when you do a good job, you're kind of reinforcing the community and growing it and helping people understand why they should want to be part of it. So I think it really all kind of fits in.

Brian: [00:14:35] I have this pet theory that for a lot of online reviews, it attracts specific sorts of people. You get people who just want to complain or people that just happy about everything. But it's often you get weird extremes. Those are the people that are ready to come and drop a review on Amazon. And so curating...

Phillip: [00:15:02] Are you saying that people that do reviews are inherently weird? Brian, is that what you're trying to say?

Brian: [00:15:05] Yes, I am. That's my pet theory. My theory is that people...

Phillip: [00:15:08] They are abnormal. Go ahead, Brian.

Brian: [00:15:09] People who generally put out reviews are kind of abnormal.

Natalie: [00:15:12] Well, okay. So I think about it this way. The people who are editing and managing Wikipedia are doing a huge service for everybody on the Internet. Right?

Phillip: [00:15:23] They're weird too, by the way. That's okay.

Natalie: [00:15:24] Maybe it's just content people. I'm okay with being weird.

Natalie: [00:15:27] That's true. That's true.

Natalie: [00:15:28] But then also, the percentage of times that you write a Yelp review or you write a TripAdvisor review versus how valuable those reviews are to you. They're doing a huge amount of content creation and lift for the rest of us. So I think valuing them and understanding that people might have motivations for coming in to write reviews, but my favorite ones to read start with either like, "I really wanted to like this, but..." And I think that's fascinating because why? Did they want to? Is it because the brand appealed to them? They thought it was cool. They liked the mission, but then the product didn't deliver. So [00:16:04] I actually find the three star reviews the most helpful and interesting because those are often the ones that, "You know, it was okay. But maybe not for me," or "I won't buy it again," but then maybe they would select "would recommend to a friend" because maybe it didn't work for me personally, but someone else could try it. So I think there's a lot of contextualizing around when you look at a review on a brand page. What went into that experience? And I'd like to think that people who come to Thingtesting are able to kind of make their own decision based on the average reviews, what people are mostly saying, and so on. [00:16:37]

Phillip: [00:16:38] Can we actually dive in a little bit there on that? Thingtesting seems to have this brand recognition and trust, at least in the DTC ecosystem for sure. I'd love to know two things. One, where do you think it's going? And what new verticals or what other areas of consumer trust and review that you could go to conquer? And then also building trustworthiness requires a lot of things. One of which could be, you know, taking a firm stance on commercializing affiliate. There are ways that you could actually build business lines at Thingtesting that may undercut the authenticity of the message. So I'm curious how you think about those two things as it pertains to trying to grow the business of Thingtesting and maybe give us a little bit of your perspective on it because you're in the content business and that's your job is to tell stories, right?

Natalie: [00:17:37] Yeah. So I think that given that there are so many brands, brands are going to compete for market share, and you're going to see some breakouts. It's actually been kind of cool to see a little bit of M&A so far this year and up rounds that have been pretty significant. I'm not surprised by the companies that have been acquired to raise money. I think that they have strong brands, strong communities. They have a good mission and message. And I think that a brand valuing improving is only going to become more important. And so things like reviews tell brands what they should be doing better. I really love to see reviews on a brand page and then the product changes. That's been really cool to see that kind of like direct causality. So I think that in the future,  [00:18:20]the role of reviews will only become more important as companies continue to think about building with consumers, community formation and then creating a product that is actually innovative and is going to stand out and break out in the market. [00:18:33] And then on the topic of trustworthiness, I think that tone is underrated. I think that when you're talking to somebody about a product, you can be like, "Wow, this is great. I love this thing. It made a huge impact," and that means something different to you than, "Yeah, you know, it was good. I might not buy it again, but it was worth trying out." You take information in differently depending on tone. So I think that there's a level of trustworthiness that comes with conveying just talking to somebody. If you were asking for a product recommendation from a friend, you would trust that they would be giving you the truth. And so what does that sound like? I think about that a lot.

Brian: [00:19:20] I love that the trustworthiness of tone is huge. And also it depends on what friend you're asking.

Natalie: [00:19:30] It could be an investor in something like a lot of our friends in the DTC world.

Brian: [00:19:34] {laughter} Exactly. Exactly. So on that subject, how do you monetize? So you're talking about fostering community and bringing people together around product and providing trustworthiness of tone. And I do want to dive a little bit further down that road, but I feel like you just called it out. The biggest thing that people want to know is that someone's not on the take. If they're on the take, it feels false no matter what the tone is.

Phillip: [00:20:05] Or maybe just being upfront about what the relationships are. How do you do that on your platform?

Natalie: [00:20:11] I think that brands can verify their page and can update key details. We have a plan. We have a pricing page. If anyone wants to check that out. I'm not going to talk about that today because I'm just content-focused and community-focused. But I think that there's a moment for brands that, for example, like EMi that came out with V1 and they took feedback and they launched V2 and they just raised more money. So I think there's a way to embrace reviews kind of across the spectrum to make the product and make people feel more invested in it and want to participate later and keep buying. And there are a couple examples of that that come to mind. How can we take what our community is telling us and make them feel heard and prove the product? And now EMi just raised a new round based on a new formula. So I think it could be part of the storytelling of "We're growing business, we value your opinion, and we're going to take that and relaunch."

Phillip: [00:21:12] Let's dive into a little bit about that role in content. So it's never been easier to put content online, and it's never been harder to get it in front of the people that you want to. And it looks like you are sort of out in front of making more physical things in the way that the companies that are rated on Thingtesting are doing. Tell us a little bit about the print initiative and sort of the magazine and some of the other pieces of content and tentpoles that you're building out there at Thingtesting these days.

Natalie: [00:23:19] Yeah. So definitely the most fun things from last year were TikTok. Learning what to do there was really interesting because we spent a long time thinking, what is our visual identity? What's our tone? How do we convey trustworthiness on that platform? Brand selection was a really interesting component to learn, like how do we pick brands that we want to feature on TikTok? Are there things that are already going viral? Are there things that are super novel? We had a TikTok go super viral with a burrito carrier called Burrito Pop. And that was fun. So that was a piece of creating new content formats that resonate that we can take off of and put on a platform that's a different formation. And then with physical media, I worked in magazines basically since college, so I feel very comfortable with the content level piece of it. It was definitely fun learning to actually talk with a printer and figure out logistic aspects. But our magazine came out, people got them in December. The goal was really to thank the community a bit, but also how exciting is it to be a brand and be in print? We do our own photography, we use soona and it was just such a good experience to be able to say like, "How can we like make our directory come alive and also thank our community at the same time?" People still want copies. It makes me very happy to create content that people want. Isn't that the goal at the end of the day of being a content person?

Phillip: [00:25:00] That's the goal. That is the whole point. And speaking of which, Natalie, you're showing off the physical print magazine as we're speaking just now.

Natalie: [00:25:08] Do you have one, too?

Phillip: [00:25:10] Yeah, I have my own physical magazine. If you're watching on Youtube, you'll see all of this. We actually have our own.

Natalie: [00:25:17] It's much bigger.

Phillip: [00:25:17] We don't do the same sort of thing that you do in the way that products are sort of rated or categorized. Our approach with product reviews in our Archetypes magazine was really just to dive into this idea that brands are aligning more concretely to not try to fit, you know, this mass market, but to speak functionally to specific groups of people. And we're seeing that those niches evolve over time, sort of in real time, especially over the last 4 or 5 years. DTC has really amplified that. But it's interesting that so many content creators are looking at these legacy media platforms like print to help to amplify their message. Also, I think it gives a lot of legitimacy in that this is actually quite hard to produce. You know this.

Natalie: [00:26:12] Yours is much bigger, too. So I was like, Godspeed. I don't know how...

Phillip: [00:26:17] Yeah, we went and we did a little too much probably. I think Brian's fifth sonnet in the book was a little much, but...

Brian: [00:26:24] Maybe a little too much.

Natalie: [00:26:25] Just kidding. But you know what's interesting is that this will stick around. The Thingtesting magazine is on my ottoman. I have a lot of design books and I have a lot of fashion books and this sits among those. And it's interesting that when you create something like this in the world, people are more likely to pick it up and engage with it over time, less likely to just put it straight to the trash than they are the email that probably took as much thought.

Natalie: [00:26:49] Yeah, this is something that was so funny because when I wrote a bit for the magazine at Forbes and it was always really funny because anytime I wrote like any story, a brand or the company was like, "Is this in the magazine?" I'm like, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no." You don't have a lot of space given the amount of content on the Internet. So I do think when it comes to brands engaging with things that are physical, it ups the value and stake of what you're producing. Because what you would put in like a transactional email flow or on a company blog might not be the caliber of something that you would print. One of my favorite examples ever is actually a couple of years ago in Union Square, BuzzFeed printed out the front page of BuzzFeed and handed it to people in Union Square. I thought that was so cool because it was a way to translate this website into something physical that was also a marketing initiative, but also like reminded you of, "Hey, it's BuzzFeed News." I had a lot of friends who wrote for BuzzFeed News, so it was just a very cool experience. And I think there's so much more to be done in brands and companies leveraging print in a creative way moving forward.

Brian: [00:27:57] Yeah, and not just print, but physical activations of all types. And one thing that I think is so, so exciting is the activation that we got to do together around Archetypes and the launch of that when we were at Art Basel in Miami, y'all came in and did a nonalcoholic tasting, which was so cool, and you had a display with your reviews in our art gallery section.

Phillip: [00:28:25] Yeah. Real time. It was like scrolling.

Brian: [00:28:27] It was a really, really, really cool. And then we had an additional pop up around Archetypes in New York that we also partnered on. And so I think that this idea of like physical media and then it sort of brings you together in person. Having a physical copy of something on your coffee table inspires interaction with other people. And that's really what we want. We want people to connect together, and share experiences, whether that's sharing a new experience or relating prior experiences to each other and maybe coming together and sharing in it again. I think Thingtesting does an awesome job with that. It was really incredible to be able to partner with you on those two events.

Natalie: [00:29:10] I think the Internet is very ephemeral. You're creating things kind of all the time. So what kind of makes something a major moment? And I think that events like you guys throw and Archetypes and what we're trying to do a little bit with physical media creates a moment, right? Because otherwise, what's going to get people to pay attention to you if you're always creating all the time on the Internet? Taking it offline literally is going to create that excitement that you don't necessarily get every time you launch something on digital.

Brian: [00:29:43] Exactly. [00:29:44] What we do on the Internet is not just ephemeral, it's also asynchronous. Asynchronous communication requires a level of attention and detail. But even when you do that, even when you give it all the detail and you do it all right, there's still a gap between you and the person that you're communicating with. And doing things in person allows us to help eliminate some of that gap and be human together. I would argue that brands that launched on the Internet need to get to physical activation or they're going to have a really hard time staying successful as a brand. [00:30:32]

Natalie: [00:30:33] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:30:34] Natalie, can I actually, let me redirect that back to you in the form of a question? When you host a physical event, which is actually how I came to understand Thingtesting. So Thingtesting hosts or has in the past hosted these sort of sampling events that took place outside of Archetypes or Art Basel. These are things that you have done with testers in the past, is that right?

Natalie: [00:31:00] Yeah, like a couple different groups. We've done one, a couple like in California, we're actually doing a brand spotting trip today to the new pop up grocery store, which is going to be really fun.

Phillip: [00:31:11] Oh. Nice.

Natalie: [00:31:12] So if you're around New York, I don't know, I forget where you guys are based, but 2 p.m. today, we're going to go kind of gather our community together. And I think it just reinforces the connectivity, so I think that there's a huge opportunity for us to do more events and connect more with people and our Thingtesters in real life. We're creating more forums for them to talk to each other. I think that when you value someone's opinion, right, like another person on the Internet or your friend that you want to go to them and say, "Hey, you're the expert on CBD supplements, what's good?" So bringing those people together to have those conversations, I think, is a very important kind of genesis for us, for community.

Phillip: [00:31:55] Yeah. And so when you have those in-person experiences, those also... I know Brian was really romantic about this idea that we're all here, we're all together, we're all engaged, everyone's present. I'm not present ever, not even in person. That's a whole other problem. But when you bring those people together, that's also ephemeral and that moment's come and it's gone. The way that you persist it is through the stories you tell around it, the things you learn from it, and the way that you reverberate that afterward. From a content perspective, how are you taking that physical activation or the piece of print and continuing to draw attention to it over time? Because you can create something that's physical and enduring. But if nobody knew about it and the new entrant to your brand and to the content next week doesn't know what happened last week, how are you sort of operationalizing that as the media arm of the business?

Natalie: [00:32:47] Yeah, it's interesting because we are always getting new users and reviewers to the site. So some of the people who might have heard about the magazine as something that we did a couple months ago, might not know about it today. So we actually just hit 10 million review reads. So our reviews have been read 10 million times, which is really exciting.

Phillip: [00:33:07] Wow. Congrats.

Natalie: [00:33:07] And when we reached out to people to let them know that news, we were like, "Hey, we have more magazines if anyone wants them." And now I have like so many more to address. And it's very flattering again, because to create content that people value and want is huge. It's the main goal of this whole biz, so I think moving forward, there are a lot of other things to think about around how else can Thingtesting like manifest in person if we have this community and we have this content and we have this interest, what would be the most high impact? We might be doing a little bit more event stuff. Speaking. There's a lot to kind of dig into from a consumer-facing perspective because ultimately, I want to deliver valuable information to people that helps build a brand around credibility and trustworthiness that people will just be attracted to.

Brian: [00:34:02] We're coming off of Expo, right? And I mean, I would be excited to see Thingtesting launch like a testing event. I want to run around and try all the different brands that you've got on your site. I would love... I would love... Please do an event like that.

Natalie: [00:34:26] Yeah, we did. We did a couple years ago. We did a Labs. We called it Labs. Thingtesting Labs at Slush. So don't write off anything like that.

Phillip: [00:34:39] That sounds like a hint.

Natalie: [00:34:40] No, no, no, not a hint. No hint. There's a lot of interest, I think, for things like that. But in building a business and a startup, you're always just thinking of how you kind of mesh everything together.

Phillip: [00:34:57] Yeah, we always end this, Natalie, with what does the future of commerce look like from your perspective and all of your experience to date? What do you think the future of commerce looks like?

Natalie: [00:35:08] I think that people have tried to do social commerce in a lot of different ways. And I think that we've seen live streaming and we've seen a lot of media around how people shop, but I'm not sure if it's perfected. I think that how people shop is so psychological to every person. And while we might see trends and behavior around the economy or inflation or whatever, I really think that better personalization is always going to be a direction to kind of keep pursuing and outside of the personalization of shopping and commerce through content and discovery is that community level of, "Okay, here's my experience, here's how I shop. I really need to bounce this off someone else. I want to hear about someone else's experience." So I think there's a lot of interconnectivity to come with platforms that allow you to kind of find the things that you want, but then also validate them with people who you trust.

Phillip: [00:36:10] I love it. Coming back to trust and authenticity and a little bit of storytelling woven in. Thank you so much. Natalie Sportelli. Building the future of commerce over at Thingtesting through content. And we value the partnership that we've had this year with you guys. And best of luck. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Natalie: [00:36:30] Thanks for having me.

Brian: [00:36:31] Thank you.

Phillip: [00:36:32] And thank you all for listening to Future Commerce.

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