Impulsive shopping – redefined by ‘The Fancy’

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Here’s a site that could give the third most popular social networking site (Pinterest) a real run for it’s money. Pinterest is very often referred to as an ‘inspirational’ site that lets you look at all the wonderful things in the world and ‘pin’ it on your online virtual board but you can’t actually have it or own it no matter how much you want it. Ofcourse you can look at the picture, save it or carry it and look at a similar replacement of the product when you actually want t buy it. But ‘The Fancy’ – an e-commerce version of Pinterest actually lets you buy the stuff you see and believes in the ‘accidental’ shopping model. Fancy, according to its about page is, “part store, blog, magazine and wishlist. It’s a place to discover great stuff, to curate a collection of things you love, to get updates on your favorite brands and stores and to share your discoveries.”  Some even say Fancy = Pinterest+Tumblr+Amazon

How it works:

Step 1: You spot a picture of guy wearing an Omega watch. You save the image, add a title and upload it to your Fancy feed. You link it to the Omega site, write a comment and file it under the “men’s” category. As the photo goes live, the notes you add join Fancy’s database along with the tags, title and key words in the comments section.

Step 2: A Sales person from Omega checks the site and sees your post and if he has an account he gets an e-mail notice. The sales person then quickly creates a listing for the new product in his vendor profile and tags it with key attributes and submits it to Fancy. Fancy then does its backend check to ensure the link between the photo and seller is legit and the product for sale is of a high quality for the safety of it’s users.

Step 3: Soon after, your friend who follow you checks his Fancy feed and sees your posting of the watch and receives notice that they’re on sale. He clicks to buy, then checks out as you would on any site. The seller then accepts the order and the purchase is made!

The people behind the Fancy

–          31 year old Joe Einhorn is the man behind The Fancy

–          François-Henri Pinault, the billionaire head of PPR Group, kicked in $10 million for a 10% stake last October.

–          $8 million came from backers like Ashton Kutcher, MTV founder Bob Pittman and Andreessen Horowitz (for an undisclosed amount of equity)

–          Fancy’s governing board includes Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Chris Hughes and billionaire hedge fund operator Jim Pallotta, who owns the Boston Celtics.

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Joe Einhorn

What has caught the eyeballs

Hollywood biggies like Kanye West and P.Diddy like the Fancy. Mark Zuckerburg too is said to have joined this site with the name ‘zuckd’ and so far he has more than 102,000 followers and fancied an Extendo Library Shelving System. However Joe Einhorn says he has no information as to why Zuckerberg joined the site but said it’s a “thrilling” development. Trade pundits are even taking about a possible acquisition here.

Photo Credit: allthingsd.com

By: Suruchi & Naimeesha

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Pinterest – an illusion or is it really that awww-esome?

ImagePinterest is catching up on the social media popularity charts. Recently ranked as the third most widely used social media website after Facebook and Twitter, it is a  pin board style social photo sharing website that allows users to manage and upload pictures of different facets of life – fashion, home, food and many other interesting topics. Pinterest’s mission  is to “connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting”.

I usually turn to Pinterest when I want to see something beautiful. Something I might not own in real life because I don’t have access to it – sometimes it’s not affordable, sometimes it’s not practical and sometimes it’s just too much of an effort to own it. So what do I do? Log into Pinterest and just click away! Everything that I desire becomes a part of my board and I’m made it to believe that I ALMOST own it.

So, is a social networking website like Pinterest creating an illusion and taking us far far away from reality?

Is it really okay to make a wishlist and keep pinning stuff? Some say it is a good information sharing platform and introduces you to things and places you might have not seen before. But does it make you happy that you can see it if not necessarily own all the things on your board or does it leave you with a feeling of dissatisfaction because you see these things in your wishlist over and over again but you cannot actually own it just yet? Does it tease and confuse the human brain? On one hand it can lead to unrealistic wishful thinking, while on the other it can help the human mind organize things better.

“Most of the social networking sites are not black or white. They have shades of grey to them which means there are both pros and cons. Human being always struggles to do a lot of things in a short span of time. In that process he keeps watching the surroundings and many of the wishes are kept in a formatted or an unformatted structure in the mind. Pinterest  helps in a way to compile them in one area. It can sometimes make the mind clearer and organized by pinning them on the boards. Then again, one needs to know where to draw the line and not get addictive and spend hours together on such a site. It’s important to differentiate between reality and wishful thinking” says, Mr. Murthy, a renowned psychiatrist in Bangalore, India

So, is pinterest a sustainable platform for social media marketing for ‘every’ business model?

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. But is a beautiful picture really enough to communicate your product or brand in the competitive market today? For lifestyle products it might not be enough but it is definitely a good way to make your products more ‘visible’ and ‘desirable’ in the eyes of the many pinterest users. It helps catch those eyeballs and gives the potential customer a reason to think about that online purchase or a walk towards the store. But how practical is it for a service or a product which might not have so much of a ‘visual appeal’? Take the example of mobile service provider. Apart from the posters of the product offerings is there anything else that can be communicated which is relevant in a picture? This might leave many marketers feel “left out” if their product or service is not very visually appealing.

So will Pinterest continue to be the rage that it is and beat Facebook and Twitter to become the number ONE social networking site? Personally, I don’t think so. It lacks a human and ‘real’ touch which other social media websites have managed to keep alive. But for now, I’m not complaining about this website.  YOU HAVE TO ADMIT, IT IS VERY ADDICTIVE AND PRETTY AWW-ESOME – I’M PINNING AWAY AS WELL! 

Written by – Suruchi Jajoo

Edited by – Naimeesha Murthy

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