This post and comment thread is a great conversation on the current trajectory of e-commerce. I particularly like Jason Goldberg’s comment:
But, we (and others) can compete in an Amazon world and build a really big and interesting business.
Here’s some of how:
1. Selling stuff they don’t. >90% of the products we sell on Fab are not on Amazon. How do I know? We used Amazon’s own mechanical turk to find out. :)
2. Better product discovery and browsing. Amazon is a catalogue. Fab is a discovery engine. As I said above, Amazon is the best place in the world to buy the stuff you know that you need; Fab is the best place to discover the stuff you don’t know you need.
3. Mobile. Fab gets 30 to 40% of our daily visits from mobile. We’re building towards a world where mobile dominates. No one has yet solved for that.
4. Social. We’re still in the early days of shopping with friends.
5. Just making it fun, colorful, emotional. That’s how offline shopping is. Who says online shopping has to be so drab and transactional? We’re inventing entire new experiences.
6. Making markets. Fab is still in the early stages of making a market for design goods. We’ve already created a platform that previously didn’t exist for tens of thousands of people who make stuff - designers - to promote their products to an eager audience.
7. Building a platform. We’re hard at work on that. Early stages. But it’s quite possible.
8. Building a brand. Brands are emotional experiences not transactions. There are still many great opportunities to build long lasting e-commerce brands.
I think #3 is the largest opportunity. Mobile is the next major growth area for e-commerce and no one aside from Fab is focused on it in a big way. More on this soon.