Frame is Joining Sailthru!
Today we announced that we’ve been acquired by Sailthru: the next generation platform for customer insights and analytics.
When we started working on Frame we set out to imagine and execute on what we thought the future of e-commerce is going to look like. Tablets were our focus, because we saw the opportunity for a new type of lean-back, magical, shopping experience - and that’s what we began building. By joining Sailthru, we’re going to keep continuing on building this vision, with more resources, and a powerful personalization and insights technology under the hood to make the shopping experience even more compelling.
Frame is going to continue to be built out as one of the core offerings of Sailthru. We’re currently working on making the product way faster, supporting platforms beyond Shopify, providing way more customization options, and building out a framework that will empower all sorts of new shopping interactions on the tablet! But we’ll tell you all about that in upcoming blog posts.
In the meantime, we just wanted to thank our customers - who gave us constant feedback throughout the process, and stuck with us even when we were a bit buggy in our early days ;). Thanks to Shopify for building out a great platform, and a strong community that let us get over 1000 stores in the first 2 months on the Shopify app store! Thanks to Ian, Michael and Neil from Sailthru. And of course, we wanted to thank all of our investors: David Cohen, David Tisch, Founders Coop, Todd Warren, Walt Winshall and Zelkova VC.
Nicolae and Kareem
Frame Beta Launch
Recently, Frame launched our first product: a Shopify app that lets any Shopify store enable a luxury, touch experience for their stores on the iPad - all with a single click! You can checkout a demo of what we’ve built below in video form. But, this is just the beginning…
With this launch, we’re very excited to be able to talk more publicly about the work we’re doing, where we’re heading, and why the tablet e-commerce space is an exciting place to be!
In one sentence: we’ve decided to start working on Frame because tablets and mobile are transforming e-commerce.
Reports Shows the iPad has Amazing Conversion Rates - People Like Buying on iPad
Over the past months, we’ve been following the reports that have been coming out about tablet commerce, and the data has been fueling us forward. Let me show you what I mean:
- E-Bay iPad Users spend 50% more than PC Web Users (Sep. 2010)
- Non-optimized sites on iPad/iPhone do Poorly (average conversion of 0.37%) - but sites designed specifically for the iPad have a staggering conversion: average 2.04%
- iPad traffic to e-commerce sites is continuing to increase (up to 2% as of Feb 2011), and people who do order on iPad spend more money.
- Wall Street Journal article: Tablets: Ultimate Buying Machine
- In September, half the people who own iPads completed a purchase on the device.
I could go on to share even more reports that we’ve come across, but periodically searching Twitter for items including: tablet, iPad & e-commerce gives you an understanding that the iPads are an incredible opportunity for retailers.
The reports that are emerging are very encouraging. If you’re an online retailer, you should start paying attention to tablet commerce - and Frame can help you get going!
iPad, what is it good for? …. Absolutely Shopping.
As of June 25th, 28.73 million iPads have been sold. Tablets have exceeded pretty much everyone’s expectations. And, along with the continued, strong sales of the iPad, and the continuing competition from other tablet devices like Android, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8 - tablets are a new paradigm that countless industries need to adapt to.
From the consumer perspective, my cofounders and I have found that from time with the iPad it does only a few things very well:
- News and Social Networking
- Twitter, Facebook with their new iPad app, Pulse, Flipboard
- Watching Videos/Movies
- Netflix, HBO GO, slew of social TV apps that are coming out.
- in store retail, orderding at restaurants, hospitality industry etc.
- Niche applications (e.g. Doctors, ordering, flying)
Given it’s limited uses, people feel they need to have truly amazing experiences within each of those core functions. They’re looking to make their purchase worthwhile, they’re asking: “What can I do with this?”. It’s a premium device, and so they’re ready to shop if the experience is as high quality as the device that it’s delivered through. We are looking to help e-commerce sites offer an experience that meets their customers’ expectations.
Not to mention that the early adopters of iPads are also a wealthier demographic, who have larger disposable income, and willingness to spend. In the long run, we want to help shape, and set the standard for the tablet shopping experience. Frame will not be only the easiest way to get started, but we will also offer the cutting edge in design and touch technology.
Shopping is an Emotional Experience. The iPad is an Emotional Experience
The iPad is an emotional device. People like swiping for the sake of swiping. We once joked that we should just make an app where you can just swipe and pinch various objects, and that’s it. There’s something to the way we interact with the touch interface that is a very powerful, almost soothing experience. Similarly, shopping is also an emotional experience. A brand’s value is very much subjectively defined by the design of the experience around the brand. A website that feels luxury makes people feel comfortable purchasing online, whereas a poorly designed website can be an obstacle for people to purchase an otherwise amazing product. A ‘mobile optimized site is not enough’ - customers will expect a full touch, immersive experience. People have become more willing to shop online, but we need to provide them the caliber that gives them that extra level of comfort, and enjoyment.
So, What’s the Future of Tablet/Mobile Shopping, and E-Commerce?
At Frame we have a few guiding principles for how we’re thinking about the mobile space and e-commerce:
1. HTML 5 optimized websites matter more than apps for e-commerce
- consumers don’t want to download an app for every single store they want to shop at, and they’re most likely to come to your store by hitting your website, or searching for you on Google (and even if pursuing apps, should still optimize site).
2. Tablet Shopping is more like Browsing than Search
- in contrast to the phone, you have a much larger screen, and different usage patterns. You use it sitting on the couch, you use it while in bed, it’s a very different device, and it needs a uniquely designed experience
3. Empower All Stores to Be Beautiful and Amazing
- our strongest guiding principles, is offering technologies to all stores, regardless of size, that empower them to be competitive, well designed, and cutting edge.
These are just a few of the things we’re thinking about, and we’re excited to be part of this transformation. Tablets give us an opportunity to re-imagine entire industries. If you’re a retailer, you’re hopefully as excited as we are about this opportunity. Frame is here to work with e-commerce companies and platforms to explore this new frontier! Drop us a line if you’re interested in talking with us! We want to hear from as many e-commerce retailers as possible about what their problems are, how they’re thinking about the future of e-commerce in general, and mobile e-commerce in particular!