Summary:

The Fancy plans to add same-day delivery on items shipped to customers in New York City, as a way to differentiate the design-oriented e-commerce company, and to get customers to take the plunge and make a purchase.

The Fancy
photo: The Fancy

Just last week, I wrote that one of the biggest challenges for design-oriented e-commerce companies like Fab and The Fancy isn’t pleasing the user or helping them discover cool products — the companies have those experiences down. Rather, it’s getting the user to actually hit “buy” for items they want, but maybe don’t immediately need.

On Tuesday, The Fancy plans to announce same-day delivery in Manhattan for no additional cost, with plans to expand throughout NYC, which the company hopes will push the consumer a little closer toward completing those transactions.

The Fancy is a NYC-based e-commerce company that sells high-end and design-oriented home, fashion, and travel items. In quickly browsing the site, you scroll through a grid of products that could include everything from Beats by Dr. Dre, a wall-mounted fishbowl, a Helmut Lang maxi skirt, a waxed canvas lunch bag and Breaking Bad-themed art prints. We explained the idea behind the site last year, when it was just getting started.

Bloomberg recently reported that The Fancy had raised $53 million at a valuation of $600 million from investors including American Express and Will Smith, and that the company was doing $3 million in revenue a month. At the time, Om wrote that the company has been part of the trend toward the “Pinterest-ization of the web,” where companies use design to influence what we buy and how we think about their items, and where consumers buy things based on social interactions and suggestions from friends and followers online.

So why would a company like The Fancy care about same-day shipping? There’s been a flood of recent interest in the idea of same-day delivery as a key differentiator for e-commerce companies. Farhad Manjoo wrote for Slate recently about the glories of Google’s same-day shipping when you don’t plan ahead, or when you run out of something like toilet paper — there are times when tomorrow just won’t cut it. And there’s no question that fast shipping through Amazon Prime has helped the e-commerce giant dominate the retail market, as Om pointed out in a recent post.

For The Fancy, it’s obviously not about delivering you toilet paper when you need it. The company isn’t selling “must-have” items (unless you forgot someone’s birthday.) Instead, it’s more about convincing you to take the plunge on that Helmut Lang skirt — and assuring you that if you do, it’ll be in your hands as quickly as it would be if you ran over to Barney’s to pick one up yourself.

We’ll be talking about the impact of design on commerce and technology at our RoadMap conference in November 2013, which you can sign up to get information on when tickets become available this summer.

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