Boasting over 205 million shoppers from the US alone, the e-commerce industry will only keep growing as we get more comfortable living in a digital world. From Amazon to Ebay, we are used to hearing about big-name companies that seem to sell everything we need and most of the things we want.
However, there are dozens of up-and-coming e-commerce startups that are ready to claim their stake in the market and should not be overlooked. Here are five creative e-commerce startups that you might not know about but should:
1. Uriji Jami
Both a social networking forum and an e-commerce app, Uriji Jami puts the “c” in creativity by encouraging their users to share their dreams and experiences. The objective of the app is to steer people towards forming their life goals and bringing those goals to fruition, while the social network aspect is supposed to be built around the future. This allows the user to essentially bring the future to the present. What is being sold here are stories and experiences; the app encourages users to buy and sell each other’s stories if it will help them actualize their potential or get one step closer towards their future goals.
Users have the option to be financially compensated for the content they post, which both lends value to their aspirations and motivates them to continue to share their stories. Neither your average social networking site nor your average online shop, Uriji Jami is changing the way we approach mobile apps and what they can provide us.
Simply put, consumers prefer to make bulk payments (and even smaller payments) in installments rather than all up front. Splitit has been helping its clients capitalize on that fact since its inception. Allowing other ecommerce platforms the option to provide its customers with interest free installments has benefited greatly. Statistics infer that 40 percent of credit card users would increase the size of their purchase if consistently given the option to split payments and 54 percent prefer paying in installments over free shipping.
SplitIt has effectively made its platform so it is effortlessly embedded within websites and/or apps, making its benefits easily accessible for users. There is no doubt SplitIt has created a model to follow for future payment methods in e-commerce.
More about the visuals than about the tangibles, Olapic is holding the reigns on leading Visual Marketing platforms. They work with various brands to help them meet the brands’ vast demands for visual content that are only growing in this digital age. Offering a media library that assists brands in building an accumulation of user-generated images, Olapic then uses marketing technologies to allocate where that content will be the most useful for the brand, whether that is in e-commerce merchandising or running advertisements.
Additionally, their feature Tapshop links Instagram and e-commerce, allowing users to link products to each photo they post and thereby garner more traffic from their social media sites. Finally, Olapic uses analytics to show what kind of impact their content is having in different fields, to ultimately maximize the content’s potential to drive brand engagement and customer loyalty.
Emerging from Singapore, Storyroll is unique in that it introduces micro-video to e-commerce. With platforms like GoPro, YouTube and Instagram being used constantly, Storyroll wants to maximize the layperson’s self-produced video content to add an edge to their e-commerce products.
The mobile app allows you to create video that represents your products, and provides the structure to make sure that it is done well. From the user’s end, they have to simply take various video shots along a specific storyboard, and Storyroll does the rest by turning the shots into a looped-micro video. The videos can then be uploaded to the user’s e-commerce store. The process is simple and the payoff is large; bringing curated video content to the online marketplace is a great way to increase conversions and keep them coming.
Boxed provides mobile access to Costco-sized quantities of products, offering a selection of curated items that you can order right from your phone to be delivered. There’s free shipping on most orders (a minimum purchase is required depending on where you live), with the bulk orders saving you money on your purchases. For city-dwellers, Boxed is the ultimate time, money and effort saver, by cutting out the need to go to the grocery store and delivering your items straight to your doorstep, in very little time.
These are just a taste of the creative e-commerce startups out there, but they're worth your while to check out.