Create your own online shop for free with ezebee.com
Mix up Pinterest and Etsy and you get ezebee.com!
Millions of people share their favourite products, travel destinations and food on the US platform, Pinterest. But at the moment, despite working on their monetisation, you cannot buy any of these offers directly from the site. The marketplace from Julia Emmert, also uses the famous tile effect interface, but on the contrary to their US-role model, all visible offers on ezebee.com can be actually bought. This is especially interesting for small businesses that want to increase their internet presence. According to the company, it records 200,000 users on the platform and 150,000 active sellers.
Julia Emmert is a founding member, shareholder, marketing boss and founder of an online marketing company. She had the idea for ezebee.com together with Ossian Vogel, who founded the Start-up in 2012 together with Frank de Vries. The Swiss business currently counts 20 employees with the marketing department in Majorca and the developers located in Romania.
Julia, your investment story sounds extraordinary. Within a few days you were financed. Did it really happen like that?
We were negotiating with a big media company for months. But we rejected them in the end because we would have to sign a contract to give away all rights to them. That was out of the question. At a barbecue party with friends we accidentally got into a conversation with a private investor. He invested a seven-digit number that lead us to the point where we are today.
And you didn’t need to be monitored for a long period to get the investment?
No. Of course there were several meetings going on with the investor, his partner and his investment adviser, but within a week they quite spontaneously decided to finance us. We only had to continue negotiating with the amount of shares.
Now that you have created a Pinterest for sellers. Who is your target group?
Small businesses, no matter what they have to offer. We have handmade products, apartment rentals and services.
The company’s head offices are based in Switzerland, but you are based in Majorca with clients from India. What is the relation there?
We are pretty big in Europe, our strongest markets are Germany and Spain. Besides that, India is working the best.
I think this is due to the fact India is the strongest increasing e-commerce market worldwide. Many people are still not online with their business but want to participate. We give them an economical solution. Also the Indians are very communicative and have a lot of questions about payment, shipping etc. That’s why we also extended our e-Wallet. Now transactions can be done economically in real time.
How does a classic customer use your platform?
A classic customer on our platform could sell handmade, for example self-made pillows. This person can choose to upload the product on ezebee.com themselves, or if they’re already using another platform like Etsy or DaWanda, import it directly. In this case the person can scrape all the products easily in one go using just the URL. All the products are immediately visible on ezebee.com. Apart from that, the social interaction is responsible for the ranking on our marketplace. Offers and pages with more views, likes, collections or purchases, automatically have a better ranking. Users can also link their ezebee.com pages directly with Facebook or their personal blog making it possible to buy directly from there.
How much does your service cost?
It is completely free to create a page and add as many offers as you like. The only charge you could find is when selling via our e-wallet. In this case there’s a 10% handling fee to cash-out but you can also avoid this by using the EZBcoins to buy more from ezebee.com.
You call yourself the Pinterest for sellers. But who are your competitors?
We could say Pinterest, but on a products basis. We do not see ourselves as a competitor to other marketplaces like Etsy or DaWanda. Instead we are a lead channel for them. Over 70 % of our sellers also have a products on these two channels or other marketplaces. At the moment we are negotiating with ArtFire to see if we will promote their products and bring them to Europe, as they are big in the US.
In the future do you want to increase your online range for other platforms or rather strengthen your own shops?
I see our focus laying in India where people directly sell and buy a lot over our platform. Our ratio in Europe at the moment consists of 65% direct sellers and 35% users that see us as a lead channel. Most of our users in Europe already sell through more than one platform, and many of them do not want to open another additional shop. In these cases we see ourselves as a lead channel.