Helping small businesses make the jump to online sales is becoming a big business opportunity, especially with the added boost coming from sales via smartphones and tablets. Companies like Shopify, eBay with its X.commerce platform and more mobile platforms like Mobify and Pressly are helping address the growing needs of small sellers that may have got their start on markets like Etsy and are making their way online and graduating to bigger and more mobile equipped stores.
Goodsie, a New York City-based start-up that launched a year ago, is vying for a piece of the pie and is now adding some key pieces to help it become a more robust tool for new online sellers. Goodsie allows small businesses to create simple and elegant store fronts without knowing any code. Plans start at $15 a month. The Goodsie platform now hosts 1,200 active store fronts including a number of businesses setting up on Facebook, and its sellers are doing $300,000 in monthly sales.
Now the company is adding an email marketing tool, sales analytics and mobile support that it hopes will broaden its appeal to more online sellers. With the email system, businesses can create simple drag-and-drop emails that target past customers based on order history, purchase amount and geography. Goodsie’s sales analytics will provide real-time tracking or revenue and order volume broken down by product, geography, sales channel, referring source and payment gateway. And the mobile component will allow Goodsie sellers to start tapping smartphone users for the first time, giving them an online store front available through the web. The marketing and analytics tool are part of a new premium tier for Goodsie that sells for $40 a month.
Much of this is catch-up to bigger platforms. But Jonathan Marcus, the founder and CEO of Goodsie, said there is plenty of room for online retail platforms that are easy to use for businesses, who don’t have a lot of technical talent. Now, with the added tools, Goodsie is moving up the food chain, taking its simple approach to sales and equipping it with more services.
“It’s not just about setting up a shop, it’s about managing and growing after you get started,” he said.
Again, a lot of people are looking at this opportunity. Even Etsy is aiming to become a one-stop shop for small businesses, helping them eventually graduate beyond the Etsy marketplace. Marcus said he’s been in talks with Etsy and said there’s an opportunity for Goodsie to help Etsy sellers if Etsy doesn’t want to create its own store front system.
Over the next year, Marcus is looking to keep growing, adding support for big product inventories and adding more features. The goal is to be able to address all but the top 500 online retailers.
Goodsie, which is part of Marcus’ web incubator HiiDef, has its work cut out for it. The challenge will be to see if companies that start with it will want to remain on the platform as their needs grow. But as it adds more tools, there’s a potential business in keeping things simple on the front end while providing more robust business systems on the back end.