You found something you’d actually wear and you want to buy it quickly before you start second guessing yourself. What a great feeling! The only problem is that their website how no online shopping cart. This awful feeling now has a resolution. Shoppable, the universal online shopping cart is on a mission to make everything you see on the Internet as Shoppable. The Chrome Extension has already made 20 million products buyable and is looking to continue its efforts.
Founder and CEO Heather Marie buys no time in answering our questions about her innovative business that is making shopping a whole lot easier.
Tell us about the product or service.
Shoppable Universal Cart Google Chrome Browser Extension: With one click of the extension, it will automatically scan websites you visit and add buy buttons for everything that’s Shoppable.
It currently recognizes over 20 million products available for purchase across the web and this number is growing every week. This further reduces friction for consumers and creates more sales for both merchants and media companies.
With this new technology, now you have ONE UNIVERSAL CART and one login for almost any site you visit AND you can shop across sites with one checkout.
How is it different?
This is the first time consumers have been able to shop across websites with a single checkout.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
E-commerce: The global ecommerce market is expected to hit $1.5 trillion this year (according to eMarketer).
What is the business model?
The Google Chrome Universal Cart extension is free to install. Shoppable makes a commission on each product sold.
What inspired the business?
The business was inspired by several frustrating experiences I had online. As consumers, we’re discovering new products all around us. What’s frustrating is that sometimes it’s incredibly difficult to track down and purchase these products online. The hard part should be discovering great products, but PURCHSASING them should be easy. Because consumers are discovering products in a new way now, there was a disconnect in the process between discovery and purchase. Shopppable is the technical bridge that solves this. Our suite of technology enables consumers to purchase directly at the point of inspiration. Shoppable has previously been accomplishing this by partnering with retailers and brands to connect in their product inventory and leveraging relationships with publishers, bloggers, and advertisers to enable the technology. With the launch of the Shoppable Universal Cart Extension, the technology can now be used on almost any website.
What lessons from your previous experience with Affinity Labs (acquired by Monster.com) have you been able to bring into this venture?
I learned a lot from that experience, but most importantly I learned to focus on solutions not problems. In a startup you’re bound to have a number of problems but if you continue to focus on solutions and moving the business forward you can overcome so much more than you could ever imagine.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We’re continuing to grow our product catalog and are targeting a 25% increase in the next 6 months. We’re also going to be release two significant technology upgrades.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
One thing that comes to mind is that you don’t need a co-founder. When I was starting out, it seemed like everyone was talking about how important it is to have a co-founder, and that starting without one wasn’t possible. I wanted one, but couldn’t find the right person. I finally realized I has wasted several months looking for a co-founder when I could have been executing more on the business during that time. Now that Shoppable is 4 years old, I see both sides of having a cofounder, but by no means do I think it’s necessary. “Where there is a will, there is a way” applies to this, as well.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
I’ve been very lucky to meet and often work with several great entrepreneurs and executives in New York. The first that come to find that I haven’t met, but would love to, include Arianna Huffington and the co-founders of SoulCycle, Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice.
Why did you launch in New York?
I launched in New York because it’s the hub of most of the industries that we touch: retail, digital media, advertising, and payments. I believe location is an incredibly important factor in a company’s success.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
My current favorite restaurant is Cherry. My boyfriend and I have been going for years and it’s consistently an amazing meal. We always order the foie gras short rib dumplings with truffle and cherries, tuna crispy rice, and miso glazed sea bass.