Fancy Blurs The Line Between Social Media And eCommerce
If you head to TheFancy.com, you’ll notice a pithy sentence on the homepage that reads, “Discover amazing stuff, collect the things you love, unlock crazy good ideas.”
It’s a catchy phrase for the innovative eCommerce site, but Joe Einhorn, Fancy’s co-founder and chief executive officer, offers up an even more succinct explanation of what Fancy’s all about.
“Just because you didn’t think to search for it,” he says, “Doesn’t mean you don’t need it!”
That’s the basic crux behind Fancy, a site that appears part-Pinterest, part-Amazon, part-something entirely unique. In addition to its website, Fancy offers apps available for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile devices, cementing itself as a mobile and social force.
The way Fancy works is simple — users can browse items in search of anything that catches their attention, then “fancy” such items, posting them to their personal user pages. Users can then purchase said items directly from the site – a feature that differentiates Fancy from your average social media site.
Fancy is designed to be easy for merchants to use as well, allowing anyone with an item to sell to market his or her product in a unique way.
“Anyone can signup for a merchant account and sell against a given item. When you post an item for sale against an image, your post goes into a holding queue,” Einhorn said. “As soon as one of our employees deems your post to be relevant to the image and high quality, your sale is active.”
Einhorn, whose previous tech startup endeavors include Capital IQ and Inform, offered a straightforward explanation of the inspiration behind Fancy.
“The idea behind Fancy was really simple. I love to shop in my favorite stores in real life like Barney’s or the Apple Store. I don’t walk into those places knowing what I’m going to buy but I know I will end up getting something cool,” Einhorn said.
“But even my favorite stores in real life don't have a great online shopping experience. We wanted to take the magic of your favorite real life shopping experience and make that happen online.”
So far, it would appear as though Einhorn’s vision is one many consumers find appealing. Fancy, formerly known as “Thing Daemon,” surpassed its millionth user earlier this year, and Apple is frequently cited as a potential buyer.
It’s ultimately this complete integration that Einhorn believes gives his company a leg-up on the competition.
“I think the advantage might be a different discovery paradigm from traditional search or category navigation,” he said.
“We are the definition of social media meets eCommerce.”
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