Shopping these days is easy peasy. You can either buy online if you want to stay in your pajamas or go to a store if you need a sales rep's help. One startup believes it can combine both experiences, though, through a fledgling concierge service called the Operator. The service has been (quietly) in development for the past two years, a brainchild of Uber co-founder Garrett Camp and former Zynga executive Robin Chan, who serves as its CEO. The app's homepage clearly states what it can do with the tag line "Looking for something? Make a request and we'll find it for you." And based on what the startup showed TechCrunch, that's exactly how the service works. You fire up the app and send out a text through it detailing the item you're looking for.
Your request will then be sent to an "Operator" aka a sales rep, who will, in turn, send you a description and pictures of a product that matches your description. If you click "I'll take it," the system will use your credit card on file to make the purchase. The execs told TechCrunch that the Operators in charge of finding the right items are either employees of the retailers themselves or people trained to know brands' inventories inside and out.
With how easy it is to buy goods from big e-commerce websites like Amazon and to look up items on Google first before making an informed purchase, one has to wonder what kind of plan the startup has to drum up interest for the service when it launches. We could see it being really useful to extremely busy (or lazy) folks who don't have time to research their own purchases, though, or to those in desperate need of a gift at the last minute. At the moment, the app is still in private beta, but you can sign up to participate if you want to give it a shot.