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BloomNation heads for New York as it expands to become the Etsy for flowers

BloomNation heads for New York as it expands to become the Etsy for flowers

Imag­ine you’re an ecom­merce man­ag­er by day but a pok­er whizz-kid by night; the chances are that if you won an event at the World Series of Pok­er, flow­ers wouldn’t be the first thing on your mind. But they were on pok­er afi­ciona­do David Daneshgar’s mind when he won a WSP even in 2008. Maybe our day­dream­ing e‑commerce man­ag­er might wish to think again: Danesh­gar and his two bud­dies, Far­bod Shora­ka and Gregg Weis­stein, used the $27,000 win­nings to launch a new online florist mar­ket­place. A blos­som­ing mar­ket­place  Born in 2011, Bloom­Na­tion is on course to grow into the Etsy of the flower indus­try and is embark­ing this month on an ambi­tious new expan­sion. New York City is amongst the new loca­tions the LA-based com­pa­ny is recruit­ing local arti­san florists, while oth­ers include Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Boston and Philadel­phia (it’s already had suc­cess­ful launch­es in Las Vegas and Chica­go). Per­spic­u­ous e‑commerce ana­lysts will be aware that local arti­sans have ener­gized online food and craft mar­kets recent­ly. Danesh­gar, Shora­ka and Weis­stein (who met at col­lege) are tap­ping their tal­ents for the flower-send­ing mar­ket. And they’re suc­ceed­ing: Bloom­Na­tion won the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go School of Busi­ness’ New Ven­ture Chal­lenge in 2012 and it…

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Birchbox follows Warby Parker, Bonobos, with new bricks-and-mortar store alongside its ecommerce site

Most savvy ecom­merce ana­lysts are aware that ecom­merce has been under­go­ing a makeover of late: the way to go, after estab­lish­ing an online pres­ence, appears to be com­bin­ing web-based ecom­merce stores with the bricks-and-mor­­tar vari­ety. And New York-based sub­scrip­tion beau­ty prod­uct start­up Birch­box has just decid­ed to take that par­tic­u­lar bull by the horns as it turns four years of age. As report­ed in the New York Times, a new per­ma­nent retail store is mov­ing out of the plan­ning stage and is due to open on West Broad­way in Manhattan’s SoHo shop­ping dis­trict very short­ly (prob­a­bly May). Growth poten­tial Co-founders Katia Beauchamp (31) and Hay­ley Bar­na (30), who became friends and found­ed Birch­box while stu­dents at Har­vard Busi­ness School, say the new ini­tia­tive has less to do with in-store rev­enues than with the growth poten­tial a bricks-and-mor­­tar store can offer. As Ms. Beauchamp puts it: “We are not focused on prof­itabil­i­ty, we are focused on hyper­growth. We like the idea of build­ing a store along with the busi­ness.” The per­spic­u­ous ecom­merce ana­lyst will rec­og­nize that Birch­box is fol­low­ing a length­en­ing line of suc­cess­ful ecom­merce star­tups which, hav­ing enjoyed con­nect­ing with real life cus­tomers via pop-up shops, decid­ed to acquire per­ma­nent…

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Can New York ecommerce startup Grand St do for indie hardware designers what Etsy did for indie crafters?

Even a novice ecom­merce ana­lyst would con­cur that if an ecom­merce start­up man­ages to achieve a repeat-buy­er rate of 40 per­cent and cross­es the $1 mil­lion mark in rev­enues after just six months of trad­ing, it’s onto a pret­ty hot busi­ness idea. And this is pre­cise­ly what Grand St., the New York start­up aim­ing to become the Etsy of elec­tron­ics, has done. Etsy for elec­tron­ics  Co-founder Aman­da Pey­ton real­ized that there are tens of thou­sands of hard­ware star­tups in exis­tence, cre­at­ing seri­ous­ly snazzy con­sumer gad­gets that you sim­ply won’t find in stores. Things like “Ever­purse”, a bag that dou­bles as a smart­phone recharg­er, or mod­u­lar robot­ic kits, or “smart” dog col­lars. The list goes on. After curat­ing a small dai­ly selec­tion of goods since its launch last July, the start­up decid­ed last month to expand its ecom­merce store into a larg­er mar­ket­place for indie hard­ware design­ers. Apt­ly named “Mar­ket­place”, the new ini­tia­tive has a num­ber of key fea­tures which sea­soned ecom­merce ana­lysts will rec­og­nize have real poten­tial to make it the elec­tron­ics ver­sion of Etsy. Firms with prod­ucts ready for pur­chase can list them on Grand St, which takes an 8 per­cent cut of the sales. But Mar­ket­place will also…

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From ecommerce to vcommerce: fledgling New York-based razor vendor Harrys leads the way to a new type of enterprise

Let’s start with a con­fes­sion: Harry’s, not long past its first birth­day, is more than an ecom­merce razor ven­dor. It doesn’t take a vet­er­an ecom­merce ana­lyst to fig­ure out that if a fledg­ling firm is in a posi­tion to make a $100 mil­lion acqui­si­tion before its first birth­day, it’s got a bold and con­vinc­ing vision of its future. Big spend, big plans  Co-found­ed by Andy Matz-May­­field and Jeff Raider, the com­pa­ny raised $122.5 mil­lion last year from Thrive Cap­i­tal, Tiger Glob­al, SV Angel and High­land Cap­i­tal (plus a few oth­ers). Then it spent $100 mil­lion of it on acquir­ing the 93-year-old razor man­u­fac­tur­er Fein­tech­nik. Brave? Most ecom­merce man­agers and ana­lysts would cer­tain­ly think so. But there’s a seri­ous plan behind the move. This is a David get­ting ready to take on Goliaths like Gillette and Schick, who between them con­trol a thun­der­ing 85 per­cent of the shav­ing mar­ket. And it’s doing so by tak­ing charge of the man­u­fac­ture of the prod­ucts it wants to sell online. That means it con­trols mak­ing the very prod­ucts it designs, dis­trib­utes and sells direct­ly to cus­tomers – in oth­er words, it’s a ful­ly ver­ti­cal­ly inte­grat­ed com­pa­ny, one amongst a very small and exclu­sive group…

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New York ecommerce phenomenon Warby Parker on the keys to success

You don’t need to be a vir­tu­oso ecom­merce ana­lyst to appre­ci­ate that if an ecom­merce start­up man­ages to bag $60 mil­lion in Series C fund­ing just three years after its launch, bring­ing its total invest­ment to $116m, it’s prob­a­bly got a pret­ty hot busi­ness mod­el. And that’s exact­ly what New York eye­wear start­up War­by Park­er has achieved. An ecom­merce suc­cess sto­ry  It gained a well-deserved rep­u­ta­tion for rad­i­cal­ly rethink­ing the retail mod­el soon after its launch in 2010, allow­ing cus­tomers to try on eye­wear in their own homes before pur­chase. And despite their slob­ber­ing­ly gor­geous high-fash­ion and clas­sic-retro designs, War­by Parker’s prices knock spots off most bricks-and-mor­­tar retail­ers. It’s even cre­at­ed an inter­est on mon­o­cles of all things; it sold 574 of them last year. But that was also the year it dou­bled its staff to 300, which won’t come as a sur­prise to ecom­merce ana­lysts when they see that it’s man­aged to dou­ble its sales every year since its launch. In an inter­view with Digi­day, War­by Park­er co-CEO Dave Gilboa under­lined the impor­tance of free ship­ping for the start­up. Increas­ing num­bers of pur­chasers just won’t buy online unless it’s avail­able. Gilboa said: “Ama­zon and Zap­pos have trained cus­tomers to…

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