2014 has come and gone (for the most part). The Silicon Valley was the Silicon Valley, New York upped its game and so did the rest of the entrepreneurial world. Air BnB rose to stardom, and managed to stay out of harms way of the negative PR bug, while Uber was addicted to it. 2014 has also been the year of eCommerce startups (heard of Alibaba?). It is now at the forefront of consumer retail – if it wasn’t at that point yet at the close of 2013. In 2015, we expect eCommerce sales and growth to eclipse the numbers that were reached this year.
Here is a rundown of a handful of eCommerce startups that have what it takes to change the game. We chose to limit the number of startups that create their own platform, and focus more on those that are players for sellers over multiple platforms (we did make exceptions).
The startup has yet to launch, however it has already succeeded in raising $80 million. How? It’s founder is none other than go-getter Marc Lore of Diapers.com. What you need to know, is that Jet is coming for Amazon. Among one of the many things they are said to offer (they are highering a lot of technology-savvy people) is to set prices of products on the basis of how close they are to the buyer, which would let it undercut prices on other sites. When it is launched, it will only be available in the US, however we would not be surprised to see expansion at some point in ’15.
Has is proven itself yet? Obviously not, but with such a stud team carrying it out, $80 million from day one, and the hunger that management has, it is hard to not see them as central players come 2015 in eCommerce. Plus, any improvements to current pricing systems has got the green-light from us, and millions across the globe.
It’s quite simple. There are dozens of eCommerce networks, and a large portion of online sellers are active on multiple fronts, meaning that he/she sells both on Amazon and on eBay. What happens when you’ve been selling for years, earned hundreds of reviews, and now want to start somewhere else too? You start from zero on the new network – a loss for sellers and buyers.
eRated is changing that with a universal rating that aggregates the feedback – comments and ratings – from multiple platforms to create your own eRated score that can be used on any of their partner platforms. If eCommerce is to make a bigger jump into physical retails sales, more trust must be created between buyers and sellers – and that is precisely what eRated can do (did we mention increased sales)?
Peanut butter and jelly. Apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Strawberries and Cream. Each one of them is okay by itself, however when combined…wow. Selfies and getting paid – that’s a miracle, or what those using the two would call Mobilizr. The Nigerian startup allows brands to find ambassadors that match their criteria, and then launch a campaign for selfies that pays the ambassadors for uploading pics of themselves with the brand to social media accounts – from Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and more.
As they describe themselves, “This fan-generated content distributed by the users across their social networks constitutes “native advertising” for the brand campaigns, at the same time enabling users to convert their everyday mobile habits to a mini source of income.” Social media is not going anywhere, and if anything, due to the increase in mobile, is just getting started. The selfie? Not going anywhere.
Forget putting things under your bed, and stop wasting time driving to storage bins to drop in a few more items. With MakeSpace you pack – and that is all you do. The company will pick-up, store, and re-deliver. The MakeSpace service does not end with that; they create a visual catalog of what you stored so you can order it back with just a few clicks.
Anyone that is a major player in eCommerce can now have their property taken care of carefully, and probably at a lower price, and of course hassle-free. With winter coming to a close, you can ship off all the out-of-season products to your storage space, and get your spring and summer products back into your home.
The team was great enough to let us know that in 2015 they will further expand nationally, with an expansion of the local service in three new cities in Q1.
— MakeSpace (@MakeSpace) October 15, 2014
By no means, are they the new kid on the block, however with the increased importance of eCommerce to consumers comes a greater importance to a product for retailers to better create correct prices. With the real-time data, you can manage the prices for multiple stores in one place – your Wiseboard. With its SpyAgent, sellers can also monitor competitors across any eCommerce site, so that you can see how your competitor has priced now, in the past, and if there is a trend behind the other one’s pricing.
Prices have always mattered, and with the evolution and increase in the dependence in eCommerce, setting the correct prices could make a world of a difference.
Ever seen someone you don’t know wearing something you really wanted? It’s happened to us all – including us guys. Fortunately, just like being able to recognize a random song, we will soon be able to recognize random clothing – with our phones. Through the use of a digital chip that is embedded in the garment, we can scan the garment (if we are within 30 feet) with the Awear app, and then immediately purchase the garment (or share it!) right on the spot with the following info: brand, price, colors, and sizes.
Currently they are in the beta stage. When it hits app stores everywhere, the challenge will be to fulfill the vision – “to unite the fashion community by strengthening the direct relationship between business and consumer”. If the visions becomes a reality, then ladies and gents, this app could become a women’s best friend and every shopper’s BFF.
It’s going global in 2015 – and that counts for something! The Australian startup has created an online marketplace that lets you choose the price you want to pay. A pre-qualified customer is directed to a relevant business. The business can see both demand and the price point that the customer seems to feel is reasonable. Should the business agree to the terms, they will have a list of customers ready to come in and buy. So rather than being bombarded with advertisements for things you neither want nor need, Alphatise puts the power into the consumers hands and forces businesses to directly target their consumers wants and needs.
Sometime in 2015 (we don’t know exactly when), the marketplace will become available outside of Australia. First of all, it will be yet another eCommerce platform to buy on. Second of all, and more importantly, it’ll open up the market and with the increase competition should create a better market for consumers.