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Are e‑commerce startups beginning to suffer from market over-valuation?

Signs are emerg­ing that ven­ture cap­i­tal firms are becom­ing less enam­ored with e‑commerce star­tups in the lat­ter part of 2012, espe­cial­ly if they can’t fur­nish hard evi­dence of their growth prospects. Investors were robust­ly opti­mistic about new e‑commerce enter­pris­es in 2012, right up until Q3, with For­rester Research fore­cast­ing that online sales would surge from $226 bil­lion in 2011 to $327 bil­lion in 2016 (that’s a 45 per­cent increase).  E‑commerce man­agers were smil­ing from ear to ear in the third quar­ter of 2012, as ven­ture fund­ing gal­loped to $242 bil­lion – twice the lev­el it attract­ed in the same quar­ter of 2011. Are val­u­a­tions too high? But the mood may be chang­ing, bring­ing new headaches for web con­tent man­agers and e‑commerce ana­lysts.  New York based start­up Fab Inc., a lux­u­ry wares mar­ket­place launched in 2011, is a case in point.  Although it enjoyed a blast of pop­u­lar­i­ty after its inte­gra­tion with Face­book; a move which boost­ed its mem­ber­ship to 9 mil­lion, it appears to be brac­ing itself for a tougher fund­ing cli­mate. As recent­ly as July, the firm jubi­lant­ly man­aged to raise $105 mil­lion, head­ed by Lon­don based Atom­i­co.  But Fab’s CEO Jason Gold­berg was nonethe­less forced to send a…

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Bow and Drape corners e‑commerce niche with made-to-measure women’s fashion

Short­ly after rais­ing $32,000 through a suc­cess­ful Kick­starter cam­paign, Boston based start­up Bow & Drape is mak­ing a unique for­ay into the e‑commerce mar­ket for made-to-mea­­sure women’s cloth­ing. A good deal of intel­li­gent prepa­ra­tion has gone into the new ven­ture, which has deter­mined­ly tak­en into con­sid­er­a­tion the fact that men and women tend to shop dif­fer­ent­ly.  As can­ny e‑commerce man­agers and e‑commerce ana­lysts spe­cial­iz­ing in the online cloth­ing mar­ket will be aware, men find shop­ping for clothes about as plea­sur­able as tak­ing a trip to the den­tist.  They’re hap­py to enter a few basic mea­sure­ments online, click on the shirt and pants they like, and be done with it. Why women pre­fer shops to the net for clothes Women tend to see clothes shop­ping as a social expe­ri­ence.  They like brows­ing through the styles and fab­rics on offer in bricks-and-mor­­tar stores, often tak­ing friends along to join in.  And siz­ing is more com­pli­cat­ed for women — a waist size of 30 doesn’t always mean that a gar­ment bear­ing that num­ber will fit prop­er­ly.  Add to that the fact that ear­ly test­ing by Bow & Drape’s founder and CEO Aubrie Pagano indi­cat­ed that women are more ret­i­cent than men about enter­ing…

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Buystand: the first successful make-an-offer site for outdoor sports e‑commerce?

Durham based start­up Buy­s­tand is aim­ing to rev­o­lu­tion­ize the e‑commerce mar­ket for active life-style goods by using a clever “name your price” strat­e­gy. Inno­­va­­tion-hun­­gry e‑commerce ana­lysts and e‑commerce man­agers might want to take note of Buystand’s big idea. Cus­tomers vis­it its web­site, browse through the out­door sport­ing goods on dis­play and then make an offer on what­ev­er takes their fan­cy. The rest is down to Buy­s­tand, which hunts down retail­ers will­ing to accept the offers. A win-win strat­e­gy? The firm’s high­ly cre­ative 23 year old CEO, Joe Davy, a grad­u­ate of the North Car­oli­na School of Sci­ence and Math­e­mat­ics and founder of big data ana­lyt­ics firm EvoApp, promis­es that cus­tomers can get the goods they want at very agree­able prices with­out hav­ing to wait for sales or go scour­ing the net for flash deal sites. The strat­e­gy, he claims, is a win-win for retail­ers and cus­tomers alike. Retail­ers who make inven­to­ry avail­able on the Buy­s­tand plat­form will def­i­nite­ly ben­e­fit. Davy insists, “You sell more soon­er, you make more mon­ey, it’s bet­ter for your bot­tom line and it clears your inven­to­ry faster.” A team of indus­try vet­er­ans from from the worlds of big data, retail and finance built the star­tup’s web­site,…

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One month after its e‑commerce debut, Beautylish goes mobile

E‑commerce start-up Beautylish is expand­ing its make­up com­mu­ni­ty dra­mat­i­cal­ly in the mobile mar­ket after its suc­cess­ful iPhone app launch four months ago. Any e‑commerce man­ag­er or e‑commerce ana­lyst who remains skep­ti­cal about the poten­tial of the mobile mar­ket should take note: the num­ber of dai­ly mobile ses­sions record­ed by Beautylish is now run­ning at twice that for its Web alter­na­tive and amounts to hun­dreds of thou­sands of down­loads a day. Why e‑commerce should include m‑commerce The firm’s founder and CEO, Nils John­son has just announced a sim­i­lar app for the Android OS, mas­sive­ly expand­ing the poten­tial cus­tomer base in the process. Like its iPhone pre­de­ces­sor, the app gives users full access to edi­to­r­i­al con­tent and reviews for beau­ty goods, but doesn’t yet allow them to make pur­chas­es (its e‑commerce plat­form, Bou­tiques, which launched a month ago, does allow pur­chas­es). Recent­ly, the Asso­ci­a­tion of Online Pub­lish­ing (AOP) pro­duced data that sug­gest­ed inter­net adver­tis­ing agen­cies were fail­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on the mobile market’s bur­geon­ing growth, con­ser­v­a­tive­ly cling­ing on to more tra­di­tion­al online plat­forms instead. In this respect, many SMBs and e‑commerce start-ups are ahead of the game. Recent sur­vey find­ings sug­gest that 72 per­cent of SMBs in the U.S. plan to main­tain…

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Soldsie Makes the F‑Word Work

A San Fran­cis­co start-up wants to put the com­merce in F- Com­merce. These days, the big f‑word on Face­book is “F‑commerce,” or, in two words, “Face­book Com­merce.” As weak­en­ing of the stock has shown, Face­book may not be as valu­able as every­one ini­tial­ly thought, due in part to it’s inabil­i­ty to also be an effec­tive com­merce web­site. Cur­rent­ly even fan pages of brands still must trans­port cus­tomers away from Face­book to anoth­er web­site so they can make a pur­chase. How­ev­er, a San Fran­­cis­­co-based start­up called Sol­dsie is look­ing to change all of that. Last week they launched a social media point-of-sale pro­gram that allows busi­ness­es to sell on Face­book sole­ly by using Face­book com­ments. Accord­ing to TechCrunch.com, the com­pa­ny soft-launched in May and has now reached over one mil­lion dol­lars in trans­ac­tions across a net­work of 75 dif­fer­ent busi­ness­es, run by their social media man­agers. With those types of results in such a short amount of time, it appears Face­book Com­merce may actu­al­ly be pos­si­ble. How Sol­dsie Works As with all great new tech­no­log­i­cal advance­ments, like Pay­pal or Face­book itself, the way in which Sol­dsie works is sim­ple. All cus­tomers have to do is go to a company’s fan page,…

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