It seems that our new cultural obsession online is the act of saving and sharing items we like from around the world wide web, through the technology and community of one platform. An emerging site, in particular, holds a distinct and promising opportunity within the fashion industry. No, we’re not talking about Pinterest.
Today, we shine the spotlight onto the Fancy. As in, “what do you fancy?”
What is the the Fancy?
Fancy is a social platform that allows its community of users to catalog images across the web, providing a tool for personal organization, discovery, sharing, shopping and profile building.
Who’s on it?
As reported by StartUp Hound, the Fancy has a user base comprised of 250,000, with 60% of those being male. Though this is just a mere fraction (1/40) of Pinterest’s user base, the number of “fancies” is set to overtake the number of “pins.”
How do you use it?
Sign up. Fancy items from across the web that you like. Browse items other people have fancy’d. See something you like? Click on it and have the opportunity to:
- Buy it: This call to action is pretty self-explanatory; however, what’s interesting is that you are not always directed to a third party platform to complete your order. For items that have been claimed by a seller, you can complete your purchase without ever having to leave the Fancy.
- More info
- I want to sell it: Anyone in the United States can sign up to be a seller, which creates a virtual merchant store on the site. From there, sellers can “claim” items that are posted to Fancy in order to sell them. Items that are unclaimed will direct to the third party site from which they were shared.
- Show someone: A feature allowing personal sharing between individuals via email or on the Fancy platform.
- Add to list: Lists permit users to categorize items and topics.
- Feature on my profile
- I own it: Users can chronicle the items that they own, either for the sake of their image or for personal organization.
- Find similar colors: This feature produces search results of other items tagged with the same color.
Why is it different from Pinterest?
For starters, the website layout of the Fancy feels more like a Tumblr blog than a visual collage. Secondly, the functionality (as outlined above) creates a user experience that goes beyond the mere discovery of products and items of inspiration. Rather, the calls to action prompt an immediate next step that has a stronger commerce angle.
Mainly though, the business model is different. The Fancy allows merchants to “claim” products that are posted and sell them directly on the Fancy. This provides the Fancy with a revenue stream, the user with a more seamless transaction experience and the merchant with a higher likelihood of purchase intent.
What is the distinct opportunity for brands?
At this stage, brands have the opportunity to tap into the unique and highly engaged male user base on Fancy, compared to the mainly female user base on Pinterest. What’s more, the opportunity for monetization and measuring ROI is much more immediate on the Fancy, where brands and retailers can elect to be sellers. Other collaborative retailer strategies come to mind that include bloggers, individuals and boutique retailers, for example.
The opportunity for brands is underscored by luxury powerhouse PPR (owner of Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga) and their decision to lead a $10 million round of investment for the Fancy.
Photo credits: www.Venturebeat.com