Juvalia & You is already online, Pippa & Jean will launch shortly (German link), and further online driven shopping party and direct sales concepts will be following in the coming months. Why are shopping parties at this moment such a hot topic for e-commerce?
Jeremy Liew from Lightspeed Venture Partners, already a supporter of subscription models such as Shoedazzle, has recently listed out three factors which speak for the new direct sales model ("Is Direct Selling The Next Driver Of Startup Commerce Companies?"):
The new input devices open up new opportunities especially for local shopping:
"These devices, combined with lightweight SaaS ERP, CRM and SFA software, dramatically improve the productivity of direct sales reps.
In the old days, a direct sales rep would call on the people that they remembered to call on, host a party when they got around to it, and had to have physical samples, or page through catalogues, to show what they had in stock.
Today, a sales rep can get prompted on their iPad with who they should be calling on.
They have an infinite catalogue, with video and color photos from multiple angles for each item, available on their tablets.
They can take orders on the spot, swiping a credit card through a dongle. And happy customers can self-serve and place new orders directly on a website, without the sales rep having to go back to see them in person.
This is a massive increase in productivity."
This shopping experience is particularly enhanced for the up till now under served two-thirds of society (German link). Nevertheless one shouldn’t fantasize too far. Neither the technology nor the customers have final say over the success of a direct sales model:
"The fundamental challenge in direct selling is getting people to sell your stuff, not so much getting people to buy your stuff."
"Effective direct-selling companies are 25% about the brand and 75% about the sales channel."
Nevertheless, Jeremy Liew is “tremendously excited about the opportunity to build very big commerce companies in this space" and mentions in his post about the offerings from Thirty One Gifts, Stella and Dot, Chloe and Isabel, Gigi Hill, Miche Bags and J Hilburn
- Beachmint Raises $35 Million and is Gearing Up for Offline Parties
- Birchbox: The Founders Speak About Their Plans
- Chloe + Isabel And Their $8.5 Million for Jewelry Parties
- Shoedazzle Raises Another $40 Million For Subscription Shoe Service
Originally posted in German by Jochen Krisch, adapted for excitingcommerce.com by Jason Soo.