Consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping online, and that may forever change the way we browse and buy products.
Compared to a year ago, ecommerce is up 15%, according to new data from comScore. The report indicates consumers spent $43.2 billion in online purchases last quarter, meaning it’s the seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. It also found 42% of ecommerce purchases included free shipping, a fact that may be contributing to shoppers’ willingness to buy online.
Some reports have predicted ecommerce will be a nearly $300-billion industry in the United States by 2015. With so many consumers moving their shopping transactions to the web, it’s hard to ignore that more companies are changing the way they sell their products, and the way consumers shop. Below are five companies leading big changes in the shopping scene.
Founded in 2008, Storenvy empowers sellers across the spectrum — ranging from hobbyists to major retailers — to easily launch and run independent, fully customizable online stores. At the same time, by lacing together thousands of stores into a marketplace, the startup offers consumers a new kind of shopping experience. By offering both the platform for sellers and the marketplace for shoppers, Storenvy is quite different from competitors like Shopify and Etsy, which offer only one or the other.
Storenvy may be on its way to become the default store platform for the social web, by both knocking down barriers of entry for product sellers and presenting a new social shopping experience for product consumers.
In the last year the company has seen a nearly fourfold increase in gross revenue through connecting its millions of shopping visitors to the more than 18,000 independent stores utilizing the free platform (there are fees for premium features).
Many ecommerce sites are revolutionizing the way we browse and buy products online, but none are revolutionizing online shopping technology in quite the same way as Augment.
The French startup is bringing augmented reality, a technology that merges a user’s view of the real world with computer-generated input like sound, video, or graphics, to e-merchants. Though the site didn’t actually inventaugmented reality, they’re looking to use the technology to allow consumers to view 3D images of their objects on smartphones prior to purchasing. This could drastically impact the way consumers view and compare products while shopping—not to mention all the other uses the technology affords.
Threadflip, launched in April and focuses on the social aspect of an online marketplace. Threadflip allows users to sell and buy women’s fashions, including clothing and accessories. The site was founded on the idea that women’s closets often contain a treasure trove of items that are no longer worn, but could be loved by a new owner just as much.
The site is thriving after receiving a total of $8.1 million in startup funding, and it recently released a mobile app. Users can post items themselves, or they can use Threadflip’s white glove service, which takes care of much of the hard work. It provides users with a box to send their items to the company, which then takes care of photographing, uploading images, pricing, and shipping. The site is switching up the concept of traditional selling sites by focusing primarily on women’s fashion and introducing a social aspect.
4. Knot Standard
Game Changing Brands on How We shop online
Knot Standard is a company that offers made-to-order suits. Last month, it launched its ecommerce site so customers can fit themselves and order suits online. The site offers various options for users to customize their suits, including different colors, fabrics, and cuts.
The 360-spin photography allows users to see the finished suit from each angle, and advisors are available 24/7 to help with any questions. By bringing the fitting process online, the site is revolutionizing the way we shop for and customize more complex clothing items.
5. The Fancy
The Fancy allows users to compile wish lists of items and even make purchases through the site. It’s been rumoredthat Apple is in talks to purchase the ecommerce site and mobile application. Although it’s significantly smaller than its rival Pinterest, the site pulls in about $10,000 per day in sales and is valued at about $100 million. If the Apple acquisition rumors are true, The Fancy could soon be propelled into the public lexicon and forever impact the way we shop.