Friday, March 11, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: StuffBuff and the decline of the buying destination

Thanks to ad:tech for publishing this first.

One of the tenets of 2.0 is a rethink of the manner by which information and functionality is organized. In Web 1.0, we simply added an interactive layer to an old model – destination sites and online stores. But one of the reasons why social has so radically altered online is that it enables content to be brought to the user.

A start-up called StuffBuff believes it has the solution to 2.0ing online retail. Why should consumers go to the store, when the store can go to them?

Their latest offering, Stuff It, enables content publishers to integrate immediate buying experiences into their technology, and allows brands to sell more stuff by enabling a purchase when the consumer is most likely to be receptive to the offer.

Imagine you are a gamer reading a string of reviews about a new title. You could surf over to eBay or Ubisoft or wherever to make your purchase. But here’s the rub – you might not go over there right this minute, which makes it less likely that you will actually make the purchase. Also, if it isn’t really any more work for a company to sell you the game right there juxtaposed next to the game, why shouldn’t the consumer have that option?

With Stuff It it’s just a three click process to begin checkout.

One click to spawn the buy it pop up.

One click to view your cart.

One click to plunk down your card and get the good.

For a brand it’s a way to drive some incremental sales with more of an “impulse” model, or at least one that avoids the drop off to purchase. And for a pub it means that they can drive incremental revenue through a rev share with Stuff Buff.

The gimme of all this is bloggers who are trying to drive revenue from their pages. But one can also see how this would be an interesting way for a bona fide pub to monetize content. If you are Time Magazine, for example, and publish a ten great Christmas gifts article, why not also participate in the sales of those goods and better monetize content? The pub gets half of Stuff It's fees, much like an affiliate program. The process of “wiring” your site for Stuff It is to simply add two lines of code.

If you accept that digital is more than just another way to deliver pages or virtual stores and aisles, it’s natural for businesses to explore ways to break down barriers between brands and consumers. Why not the “walls” of an estore?

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