E-commerce expert Jonathan Marcus is targeting small businesses with a service that lets small businesses create and manage an e-commerce storefront on the internet for a fee of $15 per month.
The service, called Goodsie
, has been live since April 2011, and Marcus said it has already attracted more than 500 paying retailers. It was developed by HiiDef, where Marcus is the CEO. The Internet incubator, founded by Jonathan and his brother David, has raised close to $7 million in funding.
Marcus, whose background includes a stint as general manager for Internet video company Vimeo and roles at IAC/Interactive Corp., said Goodsie is targeted at small retailers that want more creative control over their branded ecommerce web sites. He points to an entrepreneurial friend who spent $25,000 to have a site built by another company, only to find that he needed to go through that consultant to make any changes. This can be a significant execution risk as smaller companies seek to scale, Marcus said.
"Most retailers are inherently creative," he said. "If you give them the right site with tools and the ability to point and click their way into a store, they come up with incredible design. This makes it incredibly easy for them to set up shop online and do it in a professional way."
The video below provides an overview:
Goodsie.com from Hiidef on Vimeo.
Goodsie is exploring partnerships with existing ecommerce marketplaces where small businesses may already do business; for example, it is looking at ways that a small business could ensure that inventories between their marketplace presence and branded ecommerce site remain in synchronization.
Marcus said one primary focus for the service is ensuring image optimization, so that entrepreneurs can really show off their products. Given his background, it shouldn't be surprising that video and audio are core to the design experience. When I interviewed Marcus in early September, he said Goodsie was working on an integration with audio platform SoundCloud, so that store owners can integrate music into the browsing experience.
Elizabeth Kott, founder and owner of Closet Rich
, a store based in the Los Angeles area that sells hand-selected clothes from A-list celebrities looking to clean out their closets, used Goodsie to create her site earlier this year. She said Goodsie offers a great user experience not just for her site visitors but when she is designing and changing portions of the site. It is clean and straightforward on both counts, she said. She also sees the potential to scale as much as she needs, on her terms. "As an entrepreneur, it is important to start small and think big. I don't see any barrier to doing that with this site," Kott said.
Marcus said Goodsie may eventually offer different tiers of service as it adds features and takes on more sites. He believes there are millions of retailers in his addressable market.