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Social ecommerce startup The Fancy nets a further $53m in new funding round

Social e‑commerce start­up The Fan­cy has just raised an addi­tion­al $53 mil­lion cour­tesy of Amer­i­can Express, bil­lion­aire Len Blavat­nik and Hol­ly­wood megas­tar Will Smith, a line-up guar­an­teed to impress e‑commerce man­agers from shore to shore. A Pin­ter­est to go shop­ping in It’s big rival, Pin­ter­est, is esti­mat­ed to be worth $2 bil­lion and, being the old­er kid on the block, it’s so far banked hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in fund­ing. But The Fan­cy is no runt in the lit­ter; fol­low­ing the lat­est fund­ing round, news has emerged that it’s val­ued at a tidy $600 mil­lion and has sales tip­ping the $3 mil­lion a month mark, which most e‑commerce man­agers will agree is not to be scoffed at in the slight­est. And nei­ther is the mon­ey raised from pre­vi­ous fund­ing rounds, which pri­or to this the lat­est sum came to a hand­some $60 mil­lion. Investors seem to like what they see. Most e‑commerce man­agers would also agree that that’s not at all bad for a firm that began from some­what quirky ori­gins. The Fan­cy sprang from Thingd (short for “Thing Dream”, a New York-based start­up founder by an entre­pre­neur called Joe Ein­hom) and from the start it aimed to be…

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E‑commerce startup Curebit introduces Retail Referrals to harmonize offline and online sales

As most sea­soned e‑commerce ana­lysts can tes­ti­fy, retail­ers often strug­gle to mar­ry their offline and online oper­a­tions; if some mar­riages are made in heav­en, this one often looks more like a war zone. But San Fran­cis­co e‑commerce start­up Curebit is tak­ing steps to bring peace and har­mo­ny between the two chan­nels. Reward­ing refer­rals Found­ed in 2009, Curebit dri­ves sales for its retail clients by opti­miz­ing word-of-mouth refer­rals from their cus­tomers.  From its ori­gins as a tech­nol­o­gy out­fit, it’s mor­phed rapid­ly into more of an agency, advis­ing clients on what pro­mo­tions will work best for their busi­ness and why, pro­vid­ing copy­writ­ing, and design­ing pro­mo­tions.  It offers cus­tomers per­son­al­ized deals they can send to friends as gifts sim­ply by for­ward­ing a link or post­ing on Face­book.  The deals reward both the shop­per and the friend by giv­ing a dis­count on a pur­chase at the client’s store. Curebit’s clients include Jaw­bone, Bono­bos, Restaurant.com, and True & Co. E‑commerce ana­lysts who want some hard data about effec­tive­ness might try this for size: the refer­ral cam­paign it ran for Bono­bos in 2012, which involved switch­ing its refer­ral strat­e­gy from Face­book to e‑mail, drove 25 per cent more new cus­tomers to the site. Curebit’s analy­sis had…

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Need a Straight Shot at success for your e‑commerce idea? Hayneedle’s Mark Hasebroock may have the answer

Job­bing e‑commerce man­agers want­i­ng to flex their entre­pre­neur­ial mus­cles might con­sid­er a move to Oma­ha: thanks to new start­up accel­er­a­tor Straight Shot there’s like­ly to be a surge of new e‑commerce firms in that neck of the woods, each of them gen­er­at­ing new media jobs. It’s the lat­est endeav­or of Mark Hase­broock, the man who proved his entre­pre­neur­ial met­tle a decade ago when he and a cou­ple of Oma­ha bud­dies bought the fal­ter­ing com­pa­ny Hammocks.com and trans­formed it into one of the most suc­cess­ful inter­net retail­ers out there, Haynee­dle. The e‑commerce spe­cial­ist E‑commerce man­agers will prob­a­bly agree that this guy knows a thing or two about e‑commerce. Now man­ag­ing a ven­ture cap­i­tal fund, Hasebroock’s doesn’t sim­ply plan to cre­ate a new e‑commerce firm: he want to build 100. Straight Shot, he says, is the only accel­er­a­tor spe­cial­iz­ing in e‑commerce. Oper­at­ing out of a 3,000 square-foot space in Omaha’s famous Scott Tech­nol­o­gy Cen­ter, Straight Shot wel­comes appli­ca­tions from new entre­pre­neurs with a “back of the enve­lope idea” as well as rev­enue-gen­er­at­ing firms. Six spots are avail­able cur­rent­ly, offer­ing a three-month cur­ricu­lum begin­ning this July. Suc­cess­ful appli­cants not only gain access to the cur­ricu­lum, they receive between $15,000 and $20,000 in fund­ing…

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BuyReply’s multichannel e‑commerce solution attracts $1 million seed funding

E‑commerce man­agers try­ing valiant­ly to attract cus­tomers to their web­sites can now go out to them with their wares instead, thanks to a clever new plat­form from BuyRe­ply. BuyRe­ply lets cus­tomers pur­chase items from e‑merchants with­out hav­ing to vis­it their web­sites. Here’s how it works – e‑commerce man­agers and e‑commerce ana­lysts are going to love it. Cov­er­ing all bases Let’s take the exam­ple of some­one who wants, say, a styl­ish new pair of train­ing shoes. An ad appears on TV and they see the very shoes they’re after. Enter BuyRe­ply: it sim­ply prompts the view­er with a broad­cast mes­sage accom­pa­ny­ing the ad to ‘text train­ers to 0400 100 100’ to buy the prod­uct. The beau­ti­ful thing is that these calls to action can be deployed in all oth­er media – cat­a­logs, mag­a­zines, news­pa­pers, radio, store­fronts, you name it. If it’s a point a where mer­chant might incite a pur­chase, BuyReply’s got it cov­ered. There’s no need to down­load and install an app in order for buy­ers to make use of it. Users respond to ads in any of the media the adver­tis­er choos­es to pro­mote it Twit­ter, email, SMS, QR code, and so on. Oth­er star­tups such Chirpi­fy, Rib­bon and…

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Will Amazon tremble at Walmart’s same day delivery dream?

E‑commerce man­agers over at Ama­zon might be feel­ing an icy chill down the back of their necks if a rumored new devel­op­ment at Wal­mart comes to fruition. Read­ers pick­ing up news sto­ries here while search­ing for media jobs might have noticed that the focus is often on up-an-com­ing com­pa­nies; but some­times the big beasts come up with ini­tia­tives with the poten­tial to be game-chang­ers for every­one. If it mate­ri­al­izes, Walmart’s ini­tia­tive could be just such a crit­ter. Cus­­tomer-deliv­­er­ers Essen­tial­ly, it’s plan­ning to cap­i­tal­ize on some­thing Ama­zon sim­ply doesn’t have: in-store cus­tomers. The idea? Offer in-store vis­i­tors a dis­count on their pur­chas­es if they agree to deliv­er a same-day pack­age to a Wal­mart e‑customer on the way home. It’s fair to say that the idea is at an excep­tion­al­ly ear­ly stage of plan­ning and for the time being Wal­mart is keep­ing sch­tum. But any­one with a lit­tle e‑commerce media jobs expe­ri­ence could prob­a­bly spot that it’s a new twist on the crowd­sourc­ing busi­ness mod­el. There are, how­ev­er, some for­mi­da­ble dif­fi­cul­ties to be ironed out before this lit­tle mon­ster gets to see the light of day. Karen E. Edwards, an e‑retailing expert from the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Car­oli­na, explains: “Wal­mart would want…

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