Secret Shopper – NTWRK
NTWRK prides itself on its motto “Shop at the speed of culture” – while its core concept promises to do just that, technical issues make NTWRK a slow, frustrating and confusing way to shop.
NTWRK’s platform depends on timed releases – so its continual error messages and crashes mean users will end up turning to other apps and sites to make sure they don’t miss out.
While the winners can indeed end up receiving some of the most exclusive goods on the market for a fraction of retail pricing, the lack of transparency over how its winners are selected has also turned many away from what on paper is a promising.
What is NTWRK?
NTWRK aims to bring the biggest brands and cultural icons together in shoppable shows, allowing users to purchase exclusive items as they stream episodes live.
Celebrities who have featured on episodes in the past include Lebron James selling trainers, A$AP Ferg selling bikes, and Drake selling tour merchandise.
Back in June the app, dubbed “QVC for millenials”, secured its second round of funding from major backers including the rapper Drake and Live Nation, despite being less than a year old.
Charged took a closer look to see how it did.
(Unfortunately we weren’t able to even to sign into the app on iOS due to crashing and error messages. For this reason our review will be largely based on our experience on desktop)
The graphics and overall design was sleek and modern with bold text on a dark background, very on trend with its target millennial and gen-z shoppers.
The site is easy to navigate, with all the items clearly displayed and a countdown timer located at the top of the site to let you know exactly when the next item will be dropping on the site.
The home page features an “Introduction to NTWRK” YouTube video, allowing users to see everything the app has to offer, as well as a breaking down of the integral elements of the app so no one’s left too confused.
From our limited experience with NTWRK’s iOS platform, the sleek design and easy navigation was as good as on desktop.
For each item, videos play giving users fun facts and details they may not have known about.
Notifications and reminders can also be enabled for users who never want to never miss out.
App crashes + Bots
Despite several attempts to gain access to the iOS app, including numerous reinstalls, error messages and black screens consistently stopped us.
Before accessing any features, users are required to put in their phone numbers to receive an SMS allowing them to get into the app, although we had already created an account on desktop we were unable to sign in on the app.
According to our research, our experience was not a one-off.
Many encountered the same issue and chose to use the desktop version instead while some just gave up on NTWRK completely in favour of other apps.
Another common concern was that bots were being used to win all the items before genuine customers had the chance, while others complained of never receiving items they had reportedly won.
Final Sale policy
All of the products sold on NTWRK are final sale, the app does not accept returns or exchanges unless the product was damaged upon arrival.
Many users have voiced their disappointment over receiving shoes in the wrong size and even fakes which they were then unable to return.
Concerns over payment details
Another major concern from users were that they were unable to delete their card details from the app.
To get into the app, NTWRK requires you to enter your payment details before being able to see any of the drops, whilst the website gives you the option to add payment details later.
While the lucky winners do get rare sneakers for a fraction of the prices on resale sites such as Flight club, duty fees and import taxes aren’t included for any international shipments with many complaining the hike in price was much higher than expected.