Social shopping site Higgle aims to blend social media and e-commerce with dynamic pricing for a new kind of retail experience. The online marketplace made its debut this week after six months of beta testing.
"Higgle is the first social marketplace that integrates social discovery, dynamic pricing, group purchasing and buying all in one place, in a way that's fun and relevant and really authentic for the shopper and sustainable for the merchant," CEO and co-founder Lara Aldag told FierceRetail. "We've leveraged some very simple supply and demand principles."
Higgle is a play on the word "haggle" and literally allows users to name their own price on featured items. The user then "shares" the product, either on Higgle or their social networking accounts, thus encouraging others to join in on the deal.
A brand or retailer can reject a price, much like Priceline, but once accepted the price is honored when a certain number of orders has been confirmed. "It's a way for shoppers and consumers to have more power in the experience," Aldag said.
For merchants, Higgle is a way to leverage shoppers as a sales force, sell larger quantities and use social networks to drive more conversions.
The site currently boasts 18 different product categories, including baby, kids, active lifestyle, and art and design. The hope is to lure brands and retailers selling on existing marketplaces to Higgle. "Today we have two options: flash sale sites that eat into margins or our own site that has to be managed," she said.
After six months in beta, Higgle has hundreds of merchants participating and selling items, according to Aldag. The company has relied mostly on word of mouth, current shoppers and bloggers, or influencers to spread the word.
Aldrig declined to disclose funding specifics but has raised several rounds of seed funding from angel investors including Cerberus Capital Management and its Chairman, J. Danforth Quayle.
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