Globally, retail e-commerce sales hit $2.29 trillion in 2017, accounting for one-tenth of total retail sales worldwide for the first time ever. As early adaptors, e-commerce giants like Ebay and Amazon have been dominating the online retail space for years. In fact, Ebay, Amazon and Wal-mart combined account for 5% of total retail sales in the U.S.
But times are changing.
In today’s digital landscape, companies like Tictail and Etsy are helping bridge the gap between behemoth e-commerce retailers and small one-man-shop retailers. RewardExpert recently connected with Birk Nilson, co-founder of Tictail, to chat about how they started and how they’re helping emerging designers and artists make money doing what they love on a global scale.
Bringing Emerging Designers to the Global Market
Founded in 2012, Tictail is an online DIY e-commerce platform geared towards emerging designers and creatives from around the world. It is a shopping destination where consumers can go to discover fashion, home décor, art, and jewelry. A few things make Tictail a unique and innovative company in this space including their global reach and the Tictail Market.
“E-commerce is dominated by big, faceless, and boring companies that make it near impossible for emerging brands to make a dent in the online retail sphere. Tictail gives small business owners a global voice—and global reach,” Nilson said.
There’s something for every shopper at Tictail, which is home to tens of thousands of brands from more than 140 different countries.
Tictail also stands out from competitors because they started as an e-commerce-only shop and now have a brick-and-mortar shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side where they showcase products from their website. They just might be early adaptors in this strategy, where new retailers launch their brand online and then open physical locations once they have a better understanding of who their customers are and where they are coming from.
“When we decided to open Tictail Market in New York City’s Lower East Side, we knew we wanted a destination where people could see, feel and purchase products from emerging brands on our site. Our store is our marketplace come to life, and acts as an added resource for brands who already sell on Tictail.com,” Nilson said.
The Tictail Market is home to 60 to 100 different brands curated by expert editors and merchandisers. Brands that are interested in selling their products at their store must meet five specific requirements:
- Have a finished marketplace page
- Ship internationally
- Have at least two high-quality product images per product
- Have product descriptions
- Have positive product reviews
Visit their website for more information on how to sell your products at Tictail Market.
Reach Millions with Tictails Global Platform
Want to join Tictail? Here’s how it works.
Tictail offers brands two ways to grow: through their global marketplace and through a custom shop. Each brand that launches on Tictail will receive a shop in their marketplace by default. It’s a free service because Tictail charges a 10% commission fee for all marketplace sales. That’s not too bad considering their marketplace puts your brand in front of millions of shoppers across the globe, increasing brand visibility and sales. Brands can choose to stop there and exclusively sell on the marketplace, or they can create a custom shop for a fee.
Brands interested in taking the next step in their e-commerce venture can upgrade their account and get access to all the tools and support available in Tictail Plus. The upgraded plan features advanced customization, Facebook and Google tracking, allows for the integration of unique domain names, and a free HTTPS certificate for better website security.
It’s very important to understand the difference between a Tictail shopper and your shoppers, which may help brands determine which plan to select. Tictail shoppers are customers that complete a sale on the marketplace platform first. Tictail will take 10% from all future purchases from that specific shopper even for sales made on the brands designated website. The brands customers are those that complete a sale on their designated website first. Customers that complete their first purchase through the brands designated website will not be charged a 10% commission fee for any future purchases.
Visit their website for more information on the difference between a marketplace shop and a custom shop.
Success Tips for Emerging Brands
Creating a unique, personalized customer experience is a crucial element in making customers feel important and valued. “Personalization in communications is the number one most important thing for entrepreneurs when they’re just getting started. Because emerging designers normally lack name recognition, it’s so important for a brand to really connect with a shopper. That’s how you get them hooked,” Nilson said.
Brands can achieve a personalized customer experience by utilizing an important tool on the Tictail platform. Tictail Talk, the platforms messaging app, is a place for brands to engage with their community in a genuine, one-on-one format. Brands can quickly answer a customer’s question about a size, provide discounts to a new shop follower, or simply engage with the customer about their experience. Some quick tips for success on Tictail Talk include:
- Prompt responses
- Communicate with every customer
- Share discounts
- Manage orders and customers in one place
- Follow orders from start to finish
Really successful Tictail brands utilize Tictail Talk to build their businesses and create a reputation as a buzzworthy brand.
“From day-one at Tictail, our mission has always been to elevate small business owners and empower them to become established global brands,” Nilson said.
The Future of Ecommerce Retail
Nilson, who was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, also shared his thoughts on the future of ecommerce. “Something I’m really interested in is the continued importance of marketplaces for small businesses over the next ten years. Something my co-founders and I talk a ton about is what happens when there are more websites than people? How is a small business going to break through in that clutter? We truly believe that marketplaces like Tictail are going to be so important for the future success of entrepreneurs, and we continue to make sure ours has the best tools and resources.”