The Fancy, a “place to express yourself around things you see that you find interesting,” is launching a serious e-commerce business today with its massive database of more than 100 million things and one billion-plus associated data points.
What be The Fancy you might ask? It’s a lot like some other fairly well-known sites like Pinterest and Svpply, in that it’s an online social community where friends may gather to share their favorite designs, housewares, fashions, art, food, and really any object that is represented digitally.
What’s most interesting about the site however is its numbers:
Pinterest: 11,000,000 registered users with 32,400,000 pins.
The Fancy: 250,000 registered users with 16,700,000 fancies.
That’s 66.8 fancies, or dare we say “pins” per person, on The Fancy versus approximately 3 per person on Pinterest. The Fancy has also had 1 million fancies in the last 7 days (150,000/day) and 100-200,000 unique visitors per day.
Furthermore, in a recent interview with Pinterest superstar Chris Syme, when asked where he gets his content to share, he mentioned the “he gets a ton of stuff from thefancy.com.” Is The Fancy for the tastemakers, while Pinterest is for the tastefollowers? According to a recent report released by RJ Metrics, over 80 percent of pins on Pinterest are re-pins, whereas the Fancy tells us it sees only around 50 percent refancies.
Getting past the catty competition, the real differentiator launches today. The Fancy has already built a business model by offering coupons and discounts for liking certain products. To date, they’ve had around 400 deals (including discounts on socks). Today, they’re launching a self-service tool that their CEO Joseph Einhorn believes just might be an Amazon competitor.
The user experience will go a little something like this: a certain number of people fancy a product. The vendor or creator of that product notices. The Fancy then offers that seller an opportunity to offer their product to the people who have fancied it directly on thefancy.com, at a discount or a group buying rate. Alternatively, a vendor may simply set up a virtual storefront on the site.
Regardless, without having to leave the site, a seller may post a sale, a user may buy the item and subsequently calculate shipping and have their item shipped directly to them–this complete solution is the competitive edge.
Einhorn states: “We want to provide Amazon-like convenience through a social filter. Instead of searching for a specific product or type of product, you are learning about products through people whose taste you admire but able to shop those items without ever leaving the site.”
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.