New York startup Fancy, an online catalog and high-end Pinterest competitor, today added a social commerce platform that allows brands and merchants to sell products directly on the site. Fancy has roughly 250,000 users, compared to Pinterest‘s over 10 million, but maintains some competitive advantages.
Fancy, where users can go an “fancy” things they like, is endorsed by PPR, the French conglomerate that owns fashion brands such as Gucci and Bottega Veneta. Kanye West likes it, and Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey and original Facebooker Chris Hughes are the board of directors, according to Fast Company. Fancy still exudes an air of exclusivity, with a tight-knit community of curators posting top-notch content, which users can now buy and sell in real time.
“People are ‘Fancy-ing’ what they like, forming communities around these products or experiences, and now we allow merchants and brands to come in and fill that interest and demand in real-time, which no one is doing,” founder Joseph Einhorn tells Fast Company. He adds, “rather than go to Amazon or Google and searching for stuff I intend to buy, I’m able to go to this website, where I’m finding out about the coolest stuff in the world, and instead of clicking, signing up, and giving my address and contact info to a million different websites, I am able to shop right inside, whether it’s on the website or the iPad, iPhone, or Android app, and go all the way through to checkout in an integrated experience.” Einhorn calls this a demand-driven commerce model, and a “groupon in reverse.” Merchants are able to monitor what customers are most interested in, and then adjust what they’re selling, according to this interest.
Users will now be getting used to a “sell” button on Fancy’s interface. Sellers will be able to group their wares by price, print shipping labels, monitor transactions and set up group deals. Einhorn gave a thumbs up to Pinterest for the site’s growth of late, but points out that Fancy caters to higher-end products and doesn’t feature much by the way of non-commerce related content.
Kanye’s tweet on the matter: