The general public may not yet grasp the bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain phenomenon that is underway, but Brooklyn-based Shopin may be one of the first real world examples filling that knowledge gap. The retail-focused technology startup won a blockchain competition held at the recent CoinAgenda Global Investor Conference where a panel of investors selected them over 39 other startups.
Shopin seeks to change online retail in what is described as a “distributed Amazon” that is “connected by a universal shopper profile and incentive cryptocurrency token”. Shopin CEO Eran Eyal explained the disruptive model further in a recent press release saying that, “The sales should be happening on the retailers' sites, not a central website where someone can own their users, squeeze margins, make them compete against each other at every sale and dilute incredible legacy branding. We (Shopin) give them all the benefits of Amazon data-sharing, product recommendations and consumer benefits without any of the demerits.”
As Shopin grows and strengthens their collaborations with retailers, historical purchasing data will return to the shoppers instead of being retained on the sites where they shop. The consumers are then able to share their data with other online retailers who will give them more personalized shopping experiences. Retailers also gain some benefits via reduced in-store and online returns, more knowledge of their customers, and improved transactional conversions.
Shopin presented a strong case to the judging panel, sharing that in two 30-day retailer pilots over 700,000 shoppers signed up for the service generating $14.7MM for the retailers. Most revealing was the difference between the shoppers who used a Shopin profile and those who did not. The former received product recommendations that lead to a 22 percent increase in transactional conversion over the shoppers who did not receive such recommendations.
The composition of the Shopin team bolstered their startup story having serial entrepreneur Eran Eyal as CEO supported by seasoned retail executive Michael Herman who is the former president of global sales at Elie Tahari with prior senior positions at Valentino, DKNY and Donna Karan. The technology was developed by lead engineers and VPs from Priceline.