Let’s face it: every since we were kids, going to the mall was as much about hanging with our friends as it was about shopping. Besides, purchase decisions were always a lot easier when you had your friends with you. Blucarat Social brings that experience online for retailers and their customers – seamlessly and effortlessly. Seriously. Tom C.Kwon, Blucarat’s Founder and CEO, tells us how his company is using social engagement to take shopping recommendations, curation and collaboration to the next level.
Tell us about the product.
Our product is Blucarat Social, a software solution that integrates with any existing retail website. It is a powerful, Cloud-based social commerce solution for online retailers who are eager to create a community of loyal shoppers directly on their native site. Blucarat Social connects friends, family, like-minded shoppers and product experts on a brand’s commerce site to foster genuine engagements and conversations that generate new purchases. Commerce site visitors can now collaboratively shop – and create new purchase paths for others – through a customized opt-in Social Bar that appears directly on the retailer’s site.
How is it different?
Blucarat Social is the first solution to create and foster these types of social engagements directly on a brand’s native site. In the past, social and commerce have been treated as separate entities instead of a unified solution that can collaboratively work together to drive conversions and engagements on commerce sites. With Blucarat Social, retailers can bring forward the best aspects of social media and eCommerce to create a community of loyal shoppers for their brand.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Blucarat targets online commerce companies whose customers depend on the trust, affirmation and inspiration that come through the power of social interaction. To date, most of our successes have been in the verticals of beauty, apparel, cosmetics, lifestyle and home improvement. We estimate the market for Social Commerce solutions to be in excess of $1 Billion in 2014.
What is the business model?
Our business model is direct sale of Blucarat Social to online retailers. It is currently based on the monthly unique visitors that a brand’s site receives. Our model currently has four tiers set up for our pricing structure: starter (less than 50,000 monthly uniques), Premium (between 50,000-250,00 monthly uniques), Platinum (between 250,00-1,000,000 monthly uniques) and Enterprise, which is more than 1,000,000 monthly uniques. Our pricing begins at $99/month and goes up to a custom solution pricing plan.
Why is your team the right one?
The Blucarat team is a group of experienced Internet and commerce veterans who are knowledgeable and current with the latest technology in the social commerce space. Our development team are full stack engineers who are proficient in both frontend and backend web development. The Blucarat management team are experts in the social commerce industry and have a thorough understanding of how to best master the combination of social and commerce on brands’ native sites. Blucarat Social has taken a unique approach to mastering the social commerce space, and we are confident that our solution will truly revolutionize how we shop online.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within 6 months?
In 6 months we are hoping to continue to make enhancements to the Blucarat Social Solution by incorporating new customer requirements into engineering and development team plans. We will strategically partner with leading commerce platforms to expand our market reach. We also plan to ramp hiring in key sales and marketing functions to aggressively increase market penetration into top online commerce sites.
If you could speak with one investor in the New York investment community, who would it be and why?
Blucarat is currently targeting investors with deep domain knowledge and expertise in areas of social media, ecommerce and social marketing. More importantly, we seek investment partners who will help us create and foster a winning culture.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York City is the hub of fashion, culture and retail. We have the ability to be close to our clients, which allows us to be openly available on an intimate and geographically desirable level. Additionally, New York has become the second largest location in the country for tech start-ups. We feel very privileged and lucky to be working among a community of start-ups ranging from companies just emerging on the scene all the way to extremely mature and established tech brands. Having our office in Manhattan gives us access to a diverse range of resources and partnerships that we are confident have helped, and will help, to further build and develop our company’s initiative.