Alibaba’s Tmall Global now features goods from 14,500 overseas brands, 80% of them selling in China for the first time.
The unique social marketing platform moves the concept of direct sales online, executing a new business model with an emphasis on social selling.
BOSTON, July 24, 2012 — KITSY LANE (www.kitsylane.com), a fashion technology company today announced the launch of the first of its kind email and social marketing platform to support automated and targeted business growth for at-home entrepreneurs. The unique social marketing platform moves the concept of direct sales online, executing a new business model with an emphasis on social selling. Since its private beta launch in end of May 2012, Kitsy Lane has accumulated 1,000 at-home entrepreneurs. Kitsy Lane’s first round of funding was led by Point Judith Capital.
The Kitsy Lane social marketing platform enables entrepreneurs to open an online boutique free of charge. Boutique Owners can customize an online storefront, select merchandise to sell, stock a weekly flash sale, and market to their existing social networks as well as develop a new customer base. With an innovative set of tools offered to users for marketing their boutique, Kitsy Lane provides step-by-step assistance to Boutique Owners as they grow not only their business, but their networks and style credibility. As an example of harnessing the power and reach of social media, Boutique Owners can connect their online store to Facebook, automatically publishing sales, favorites and product reviews to their Timeline.
“Traditional direct sales businesses are costly, time-consuming, and scale slowly for the operator,” says Andy Fox, CEO, Founder, Kitsy Lane. “By leveraging online social selling, we’ve created a turnkey vehicle for would-be entrepreneurs to operate and grow a business in their spare time, and have a lot of fun doing it.”
Boutique Owners name their boutiques, receive a custom URL destination and stock their boutique with jewelry and accessories that they select from a master catalog of over 700 stylist-selected pieces from emerging designers and on-trend house brands. The catalog’s offerings continually change and grow, to ensure that Boutique Owners and their customers always have opportunities to make new discoveries. Initially, the merchandise mix will be focused on fashion jewelry and accessories. Prices range from $20-$250 per item, and shipping, order processing, and payments are all handled by Kitsy Lane. Boutique Owners see a profit for their sales and marketing efforts by earning a commission of up to 25 percent on everything they sell.
“I have years of experience in retail sales, but running my own digital boutique with Kitsy Lane has been incredible. They support me in so many ways … I have a growing base of customers and I can manage the whole thing in just a little bit of time – it’s actually really easy. Plus the site and the merchandise look great!” shares Nicole Chow, Kitsy Lane Boutique Owner.
Kitsy Lane provides an innovative online shopping experience. With a nod to the traditional brick-and-mortar experience, shoppers receive one-on-one attention from Boutique Owners by receiving personalized product recommendations through email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Customers can also share their own favorite picks across social networks, connecting to Facebook and posting their favorites or sharing recommendations, which helps to build business for the Boutique Owner.
Not only do Boutique Owners find an opportunity to build a supplementary income stream that they can manage in the midst of a busy lifestyle, but also they become part of an entrepreneurial community where they learn the basics of social marketing and sales. Boutique Owners and shoppers also have access to a wealth of rich editorial content on the website, including designer spotlights, styling tips, videos, blog posts, and more, making for a fully immersive experience.
After the launch, Kitsy Lane will be introducing a number of select blogger, celebrity, and stylist boutiques which will be specially featured throughout the website.
Kitsy Lane was founded by Andy Fox, the founder and operator of a portfolio of successful tech start-ups including Imidio, iConverse, and Technically Speaking. Joining him as CMO is Jeannette McCIennan, former CEO of DailyMakeover.com, President of OgilvyInteractive for North America and the SVP of Sales & Marketing at Mapquest. Leading the buying and merchandising team is Meeka Corporan (formerly of Rue La La and TJX), and Creative Director Melissa Wilber.