Tuesday, February 28, 2017

This NYC Startup Sells New Watches at Used Prices By Doing This…

When thinking of what condition to buy an item, we generally think of new or used. While this is almost always a correct assumption, there is now a third category; shopworn items. Taking advantage of display items at luxury stores, ShopWorn makes sure you can buy these like-new items at a used price. With watches jewelry and other high end items available from top brand names, there has never been a better opportunity to take advantage of ShopWorn deals.

AlleyWatch chatted with CEO Richard Birnbaum about the Startup and how the company is changing how we think about used items.

Tell us about the product or service.

ShopWorn.com is a luxury e-commerce site that exclusively sells designer display-model watches, jewelry, and accessories sourced from authorized retailers around the world. The concept is that of a luxury trunk show, and ShopWorn.com website merchandise is constantly being updated. All products have never been pre-owned and have only been gently handled in-store before arriving on ShopWorn.com. Since our launch in November 2016, our impressive brand roster has grown to include Omega, pre owned Tag Heuer watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Maurice Lacroix, Tudor, Montegrappa, Zenith, Dior, Chopard, Cartier, Hublot, Celine, Stephen Webster, and many more with some products offered up to 84% off of market rates.

How is it different?

ShopWorn.com has carved out a new niche in e-commerce because of our unique product sourcing strategy. Therefore, we don’t compete with current product offerings at the retail level or with other e-commerce sites, and we don’t sell second hand goods. ShopWorn introduces an entirely new category in luxury shopping with “shopworn” products.

We are also able to offer a unique opportunity to authorized retailers to purchase their aging inventory and allow them to free shelf-space to purchase new merchandise direct from the brand.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

ShopWorn caters to the luxury collector, enthusiast, or gift-giver. Our customer is typically very well educated on the product and values both quality and authenticity. Our new niche, selling authentic “shopworn” luxury products, allows the consumer to get a fantastic deal without compromising on the quality of their purchase.

On the supply side, the market is unlimited. Swiss watchmakers exported over $20 billion worth of products in 2016, and a third of that inventory is stock balanced every year. That means $6 billion worth of goods that are available for us to buy and resell to our customers.

What is the business model?

ShopWorn is the only website to exclusively sell store-display merchandise purchased directly from authorized retailers. In addition to our e-commerce and customer service staff, we also have a dedicated procurement team that travels the world purchasing designer goods from retailers.

What inspired the business?

We got our start in the early dot com days of the late 1990s selling luxury items on Ebay. Our early success caught the eye of Fortune Magazine who interviewed us in 2000. From then on, we knew that luxury would always have a place on the internet. In the fall of 2015, we recognized an opportunity to both assist luxury retailers struggling to sell their stock inventory and resell it to a broader audience online. With this concept in mind, we proceeded to assemble a team of industry professionals to source inventory from the world’s finest luxury retailers. We quickly discovered that savvy consumers would much prefer to own a ShopWorn product which is virtually indistinguishable from new than a pre-owned version at a similar cost. As we only source our items from authorized retailers, there is never a question of the authenticity of our merchandise.

Why is a platform like yours necessary?

The combination of authentic luxury products, superior value, and high-touch customer service offered by ShopWorn.com can’t be matched by other e-commerce sites out there today. The consumer benefits by purchasing an authentic product at a fraction of the retail cost.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

From launching in November 2016, we did $1.3 million in the first 90 days. We project within 6 months to have monthly sales between $700,000 – $800,000. We will be adding dozens of new retail vendors to our existing supplier base to bring even more luxury products to our site. Within the next 6 months we expect to sell 100 brands on our site.

What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?

“Stay self-funded as long as possible”

If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?

A VC who shares our vision and has access to the brain power for us to scale more quickly.

Why did you launch in New York?

We grew up in Brooklyn and have spent our entire lives in the NY metropolitan area. As the luxury capital of the US, there was never another city to consider operating in. We are always traveling to Manhattan for business to coordinate products, meet with stylists, or manage photo shoots.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after-work drink?

We are big fans of Marea on Central Park South. It’s elegant with a superb wine list and amazing antipasti, which is not surprising given two Michelin stars.

Monday, February 27, 2017

7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits All Marketers Need to Break NOW

7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits All Marketers Need to Break NOW

We all have bad habits. Whether it’s biting our nails, constantly driving like we’re on a racetrack or something you’d rather not admit to, we’ve all got them. Some are easy to break while others quickly find their way back into our lives. The same can be said for social media marketing habits. Once you get in a routine, it can be hard to break habits that are helping, but may possibly be hurting your brand.

Within social media marketing there is a lot of opportunity for brands to create great experiences for their communities, create brand affinity and influence purchasing decisions. A recent study found that 84% of CEOs and VPs say that they use social media to make purchasing decisions.

If you want to be one of those companies that has a positive impact on your community and generates tremendous value for your brand, make sure you’re not following ANY of these 7 weird social media marketing habits.
7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits to Break NOW

#1 – Automating EVERYTHING

When you sit down and look at the mountain of tasks in front of you each day it can be tempting to try and automate as many of your social media marketing tasks as possible. While many social media tools can be a marketer’s best friend, it’s best to use them in moderation.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How Social Media Can Drive Success on Your Content Marketing Roadtrip

How Social Media Can Drive Success on Your Content Marketing Roadtrip

I think most marketers would agree that social media and content marketing compliment each other nicely. Need proof? Recent research has found that 93% of B2B marketers list social media as one of their top five content marketing tactics.

I like to think of social media as the vehicle that drives your content where you want it to go. But as social media continues to evolve, it’s important to remember that we’re not driving down a one-way street. Social media presents more opportunities than just a dissemination platform. It can also be used as a means for engaging your online community, publishing and targeting specific content and building brand awareness.

So how do we leverage social media in a way that drives our content marketing efforts forward? Well, as a person and marketer who’s taken a few road trips in her day, I can tell you that ensuring that the social media marketing and content marketing wheels are aligned is essential. Here are some best practices and tips to ensure you’re ready to roll.

Map Your Route

Anyone who sets out on a road trip maps out the route to their end destination So when it comes to using social media to amp up your content marketing efforts, create a social media content plan to act as your roadmap.