Two web-only gadget connoisseurs, ThinkGeek and ScotteVest, team up to offer a new product.
Stefany Moore , Associate Director of Research
They’re pretty much crazy about each other. At least that’s what web-only gadget retailer ThinkGeek Inc. says about apparel maker and online merchant ScotteVest Inc., and vice versa.
The two companies target the same customer demographic—mainly young to middle-aged males enamored with the latest technology—but they don’t compete with each other. That’s made it possible for the two retailers to work together to sell online for the last two years. ScotteVest, No. 621 in the Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide, supplies ThinkGeek, No. 175 in the Top 500 Guide, with its travel vests, coats and other gear with pockets specifically designed for iPads, iPhones, passports, cameras and other gadgets and travel accessories.
The relationship has worked so well, the merchants both say, that they have decided to co-brand a product dubbed the Tropiformer jacket. The item has 22 pockets, including one called the Quick Draw pocket, which allows a consumer to access his smartphone directly through the translucent pocket material, without having to take his phone out of the jacket.
ScotteVest has been eager to work more with ThinkGeek, as ThinkGeek’s customers have historically been loyal, engaged on social networks and good at getting word out about the ScotteVest brand. “We have a lot of customers that come to us and say they heard about us from ThinkGeek,” says ScotteVest founder and CEO Scott Jordan. “Their customers are some of the best out there—their return rate is very low, they share our sense of humor and don’t complain.”
For ThinkGeek, ScotteVest products have done well, and the merchant is looking to expand in the apparel category.
"We're seeing a continual increase in apparel sales at ThinkGeek.com, and it's becoming an even more significant part of our product mix and total site revenue,” Zimmerman says. “The relationship we have with ScotteVest has helped cement that, and with the way our customers have responded to their products, we're looking to double the amount of ScotteVest sales over 2012."
On the Tropiformer product detail page at ThinkGeek.com shoppers will see, “We love ScotteVest's clothing so much that they decided to make an exclusive jacket just for us! The Tropiformer Jacket has the features you know and love if you're a fan of Scottevest outerwear, but it is made of a super lightweight material that's perfect for summer travel.”
Since the Tropiformer launch on ThinkGeek about two months ago, the product has garnered 665 Likes on Facebook and 20 shares on Twitter, 25 on Pinterest and 30 on Google+.