Ubokia, an eCommerce startup looking to change the traditional relationship between buyer and seller, made major headlines recently by launching its Pinterest-targeted “Want It” online button. PYMNTS.com spoke with Matt Pine, Ubokia’s VP of Marketing, to discuss “consumer empowerment,” the future of the eCommerce industry, and what bringing Pinterest into the eCommerce world means for online shoppers.
Would you prefer a shopping experience where businesses fight over you as opposed to you fighting for sales?
Ubokia, a three-year-old eCommerce startup looking to redefine the online shopping experience, bets the answer to that question is “yes.”
PYMNTS.com spoke with Matt Pine, vice president of marketing for Ubokia, to discuss his company’s new Pinterest integration, why the eCommerce industry needs to evolve, and how Ubokia sets itself apart from an industry inundated with online marketplaces.
According to Pine, what makes Ubokia so unique is that it functions in an opposite way from sites such as Craigslist or eBay. Instead of bidding on or negotiating for an item, Pine says, companies focus on bringing a competitive offer to you.
“On Ubokia, if you want to buy something, all you do is simply post what you want. You put a title, a description, maybe what you want to pay or whatever features are important for you for this item you’re looking to purchase, and that’s it,” Pine explains.
He added, “Then sellers actually come to you and they make offers to you, they kind of compete with each other to get your business. So Ubokia is very much the opposite of what people are accustomed to when it comes to commerce and eCommerce in general.”
While the appeal this provides to consumers is obvious, Pine is quick to point out the advantages this brings to merchants as well. Sellers don’t need to spend millions on advertising if they’re alerted to exactly which consumers are looking to buy and are given a direct means through which to interact with those potential customers.
“These are really high quality leads,” Pine says of Ubokia users. “These aren’t people who just clicked on a link somewhere or clicked on an email, these are people that literally said ‘this is what I want to buy,’ so it’s been great for sellers.”
So why build the “Want It” button for Pinterest? According to Pine, Pinterest is a “phenomenal” discovery tool, but often lacks a means through which people can purchase items they like. Ubokia wants to bridge that gap, allowing people the post what they want to a marketplace through the click of a button.
In other words, the relationship between a site like Pinterest, where people browse for cool items, and Ubokia, where people gain the opportunity to purchase items they want, is a naturally symbiotic one.
“We have this marketplace that’s built on what people want. Pinterest is very good at helping people discover stuff that they want, so we thought what a great marriage,” Pine said.
“People can discover what they want on Pinterest, and then use Ubokia’s marketplace to go ahead and get it.”
To hear more Pine on how Ubokia is aiming to reshape eCommerce, listen to the full podcast below.
Matt Pine is the VP of Marketing at Ubokia.com. Before he joined Ubokia, Matt was president at VMX Marketing, an online marketing company with a focus on social and small business. Prior to VMX Marketing, Matt worked in advertising-sales with Leapfish.com, a startup search engine company. After graduating from college, Matt joined Vormetric, a leading data security startup in Silicon Valley. At Vormetric, Matt worked in marketing and sales development. At the time of his departure from Vormetric, Matt managed the Western Region of Inside Sales.