When talking about the top trends in social commerce, photo galleries (Pinterest, Lover.ly), daily deals (LivingSocial, Groupon) and subscription service (Birchbox, Love with Food) are the main categories in the industry. However, social commerce has been a tough nut to crack to attain that elusive metric:conversion. How can social commerce startups leverage on their large user bases to generate revenue?
**Getting social commerce to work is difficult. You know, hundreds of re-pins on your Pinterest account might bring only only one click through. Or 100,000 likes on your Facebook page but only 3 sales. However, one company is making headway in generating revenue through social commerce. We are talking about The Fancy.
From the look of things, The Fancy is definitely inspired by Pinterest. However, the startup is different when it comes to monetization. While Silicon Valley is still waiting with bated breath on the planned announcement of Pinterest’s monetization model, The Fancy is already making headway in monetization.
The Fancy’s homepage is reminiscent of Tumblr, with a lot of white space and focus on crisp images. Users can register at the site using their Facebook or Twitter credentials, or their emails. Upon the free registration, users can start browsing photos of curated fashionable curated items on the website.
On clicking the images, users have a choice to either “fancy it”, which is something similar to Pinterest’s “pin it”, “Add to Wish List” or “Add to Cart” and check out without leaving the website. The items that you “fancy” are saved in your account so that you can purchase them later.
Apart from outright buying, Fancy Box has a monthly subscription service option where subscribers get items worth over $60 depending on their preferences. The monthly subscription fee is $39 in exchange for a box of unique items every month. The box may contain high-end fashionable or vintage items including clothes, electronics, crafts, foods, gadgets, car parts, gift cards and so on. Here is an example of what one user got in December.
The items on sale are exclusively curated by the startup’s ‘nearly’ 2 million users instead of company’s staff. Unlike Pinterest whose users are predominately female and like motivational sayings, funny quips about parenting, recipes and craft projects, more than 60 percent of users on The Fancy are male and often post high end consumer goods including clothes and accessories, photos of exotic locales and a variety of vintage items.
The Fancy has a larger following of international users than US users. Over 70 percent of users are from outside the US given the website is available in twenty different languages. However, prices for the items are always in US dollars. If you are selling something fancy, you can apply to have it sold at the website.
The Fancy is establishing the ground for social commerce and as more people become influencers, trendsetters and tastemakers, it is likely that trendy blogs will shake the e-commerce landscape and take a slice of the market commanded by large retail sites.
Talk about “Innovations in Subscription Commerce“!