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The publisher of content about what to do in New York is looking to e-commerce.
Starting today, readers of TimeOutNewYork.com can enter a new shopping section and click to purchase items featured by the magazine’s editors from among products available from local New York area manufacturers and retailers. Clicking the image of a featured product takes a visitor to a TimeOutNewYork.com product page hosted by OpenSky on its e-marketplace web site, TheOpenSkyProject.com.
Among the first products featured by the publisher, for example, was a C. Luce sleeveless trench dress, a garment listed at $85 and that is designed as a dress that can double as a rain coat. The product page for the dress also features several other suggested items, including a pair of Marais USA kitten heel shoes for $102 and a Harry Newfeld multicolor necklace for $125.
“OpenSky’s platform makes it possible for our readers to buy that handmade glassware from a local Brooklyn designer if they are not able to take the L train to the boutique,” says Marci Weisler, digital business director, Time Out North America. “It makes the city’s talented artisans and manufacturers covered in TONY’s Shopping & Style section each week even more accessible to our busy readers.”
Time Out New York is one of about 1,000 sellers who have joined the OpenSky e-marketplace, which features tens of thousands of products and has reached more than 10 million shoppers since going live a year ago, says John Caplan, OpenSky’s founder and CEO, who is also the former president of Internet search site About.com. He adds that dozens of new sellers sign up daily.
OpenSky also has about 900 participating suppliers of consumer products. TheOpenSkyProject.com web site is set up so that prospective sellers—who are typically providers of online content like publishers and bloggers—can find suppliers and set up selling contracts with them after registering on the site, Caplan says.
OpenSky charges no set-up fees to connect the web sites of its participating sellers and suppliers, who can directly access an OpenSky online platform for entering their product listings onto TheOpenSkyProject.com, Caplan says. OpenSky processes all sales transactions on behalf of sellers and handles all fulfillment and customer service. It forwards all orders to drop-shippers who deliver goods directly to online customers.
OpenSky, which earns its revenue through a revenue-sharing model, takes a 50% share of the profit from each sale transacted on its e-marketplace, Caplan says.
OpenSky operates with $11 million in venture capital from investors Highland Capital, Canaan Partners and Ron Conway.