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Mobile Commerce in Real-Time Is New Trend, Thanks to Zaarly

Startup turning a lot of heads for its unique offering

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When Bo Fishback, Ian Hunter, and Eric Koester developed Zaarly right before SXSW took place earlier this year, they had no idea that it would get the response it has gotten thus far. Koester told WebProNews that they created it two and a half weeks before the show and decided to launch simply as an experiment. However, when it took in $10,000 worth of transactions within 48 hours in a two-block radius, they knew they were onto something.

Koester describes Zaarly as a “mobile marketplace for anything.” In other words, it provides a way to buy or sell locally. Koester said that it is focused on buyers at this point, since it would be cumbersome to search through all that people have to sell on a mobile device. Instead, the app essentially allows users to say, “I would pay X amount for _________.”

“In our world, we try to let the buyer start the conversation saying what they want, and then sellers come to the marketplace trying to connect right directly with them,” said Koester.

He went on to say that Zaarly divides its marketplace into three categories: goods, services, and experiences. He also told us that he believes that, just as consumers transitioned from offline marketplaces to online venues, they would make a similar shift to mobile platforms.

“Mobile commerce is really transitioning this world of buying and selling in a real-time basis,” said Koester.

According to him, consumers no longer want to sit at their desktops and search for items. Now, he believes people want to find what they’re looking for wherever they are, which will drive them back to local commerce.

Apparently, he’s right because the service took in over $8 million in transactions over its first five months of existence. The company has also received funding from Ashton Kutcher, added former eBay CEO Meg Whitman to its board, and been referred to as “the next eBay.” Furthermore, it recently brought in $14 million in additional funding.

Koester calls the company’s success “so fortunate” but said that the timing of the app was critical. As he explained, without the advanced technology that exists in smartphones, mobile payments, and social channels such as Facebook and Twitter, it would not have been as successful.

Going forward, Koester told us that users could expect a tighter integration between buyers and sellers as well as more tools for small businesses to utilize. He also said that privacy was very important to the company and that it would continue its efforts in this area.

Is mobile commerce the way of the future? If so, what does it mean for sites like eBay and Craigslist? Let us know your thoughts.

Mobile Commerce in Real-Time Is New Trend, Thanks to Zaarly
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  • Cheryl

    As far as saving when buying on eBay goes:

    Use a site like Ebuyersedge.com to set up saved searches. You get an e-mail whenever a matching item is newly listed. Especially good for “Buy It Now”s that are priced right.

    Try a misspelling search using a site like Typojoe.com to hopefully find some great deals with items that have main key words misspelled in the title. Other interested buyers might not ever see them.

    If you see an auction that you want to bid on, use a sniping service such as Bidball.com to place your bid for you. It’ll bid in the last few seconds, helping you to save money and avoid shill bidding.

  • http://www.miteksystems.com/ Mobile Commerce

    Thank you for sharing. I think mobile commerce is the next big thing in the marketing companies now.

  • Kim Fraiser

    The coolest app I found for my android is CSI globalVCard. I use it to create one time use credit cards for all of my B2B purchases. Its super easy to use and I don’t ever have to worry about someone stealing my credit card information.