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For the past years, a number of startups and existing businesses took advantage of monetizing a user’s online presence. They do this by letting people link their products on blogs, social media accounts, and dedicated online shops.
In exchange, they give modest sales commissions to their “product ambassadors.” The Fancy, for example, offers 2 percent sales commission to those who will link to their website’s product pages. On the other hand, Amazon offers between 4 and 8 percent based on the product category. StyleOwner gives a whopping 10 percent cut by letting users sell its products on another online fashion boutique.
Despite the commissions that an Internet user can get by selling products from other companies, Zindigo thinks that the cut should be bigger. That’s why they are offering 40 percent sales commission by letting users create their own Facebook storefront.
Zindigo is a startup established by two fashion industry veterans, Michael Bereck and Kareen Mallet. Bereck is a former wholesale distributor and founder of Fashion500.com, an early fashion e-commerce play. Kareen Mallet, on the other hand, was a fashion director for Neiman Marcus for 17 years.
The pair was able to raise $4 million in funding to found Zindigo, which will serve as a direct-selling platform that will operate on Facebook.
How Zindigo Works
In order to avail the 40 percent sales commissions, users will have to start their own shops as business pages on Facebook. From there, they can stock their online shop with various apparel and accessories from Kara Ross, Erickson Beamon, Isabelle Fiore, and many more.
The online direct-selling platform will initially focus on fashion, although Bereck and Mallet plans to expand their services on travel, hospitality, automotive, and entertainment. When asked why Facebook e-commerce was not able to reach its potential, Bereck commented:
Taking a website and putting it on Facebook doesn’t give a lot of added value, and it doesn’t really leverage social. We’re talking to brands with 2,000 followers on their Facebook page. They need a system that helps them get to everyone else, and that’s what we’re building.
At the moment, Zindigo has 18 employees that can be found in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida. The company takes around 15 percent cut of every sale. Aside from the individually operated storefronts, the online direct-seller will have its own Facebook store for partner brands, as well as an e-commerce consultancy.