The Web has certainly made our lives more global, but that doesn’t quite extend to commerce. International expansion for commerce companies is expensive and tricky — that’s why the services of companies like FiftyOne are in such high demand.
Chilean investment banker Mathias Rosenthal and his wife Francesca noted the interest in the latest American trends in South America — they could read about them on American websites, but there was no way to shop them. Most American chains have no physical presence in Latin America, and those that are, are six months behind. On top of that, Rosenthal says the overall market for e-commerce in Latin America is still in its infancy.
So they launched Bazar NY, a site that acts as a personal shopper to New York stores for Latin American clients.
They’ve been live for over a month and already completed more than 1,000 transactions, along with closing a partnership with Bloomingdale’s. Bazar’s team photographs the insides of New York stores (with permission, we know they can be touchy about these things), posts images and collages to the sites, and then acts as a personal shopper for fashionistas in Latin America. Bazar goes all the work of buying and shipping the items, offering shoppers a single price, instead of having them calculate currency changes, shipping and customs costs as they would on an international e-commerce site. Customers in Chile, Peru, Colombia and Argentina are happy to pay a fee for the service in order to get access to goods they can’t find in their home countries.
Bazar’s idea is to help American brands reach Latin American customers. For customer acquisition, there are deals with several major Latin American magazines. One Book, a Chilean fashion magazine, will publish ten pages of Bazar’s content with products and prices. Meanwhile, Bazar publishes its own quarterly digital report of the New York trends for Latin American designers.
Bazar is in the process of building a full-scale online platform so that it can streamline its personal shopping, instead of completing transactions through email. Currently revenue comes in through its business, which is service oriented, but with a robust platform, Bazar NYC could automate the process, Rosenthal says. As Latin America begins embracing e-commerce, Bazar NYC will be there to push it along.
[Image courtesy Abdulmajeed Al.mutawee || twitter.com/almutawee]