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The Best Ecommerce Company You’ve Never Heard Of (Until Now)?

Sam ReebonzIt’s always a lot of fun for us when an entrepreneur who has worked for many years to build an awesome company finally starts to receive well-deserved recognition. The latest example is Sam Lin at Reebonz, which announced its new $40 million financing round yesterday (read the article in TechCrunch).

Sam founded Reebonz in 2009 with a clear focus on the $200 billion+ market for luxury goods, about 30% of which is in Asia – Reebonz’ core market focus. A two-time entrepreneur, Sam has an intuitive understanding of the Asian consumer and her shopping preferences. GGV Capital was fortunate to invest in Reebonz in 2010 along with Vertex and Matrix China, and we’ve since watched Sam build Reebonz into one of the fastest growing e-commerce businesses on the planet.

I won’t go into too much detail because there are some elements of Sam’s business that we haven’t seen anywhere else, but will highlight a few things we see Sam doing that have been critical to Reebonz’ success:

1) Maniacal focus on customers and the customer experience. Packaging, design, product, delight. Every detail has Sam’s touch (see my photo above with Sam in front of a packaging display).

2) Extreme focus on quality. The best brands, the best products – backed by Reebonz and its world-class level of customer service.

3) The element of surprise. There is always something unique, something hard to find, something amazing about a limited offering from Reebonz – and customers love it.

4) Get local. Sam has country managers in each core market who have a tremendous amount of autonomy and are able to cater to local preferences.

5) Market online and offline. Reebonz does a terrific job of creating unique experiences and events offline, building its brand and relationship with customers in a very personal way.

Very fired up for Sam and his team. Well deserved recognition for a category leader like Reebonz and a terrific entrepreneur like Sam.

Social Commerce In Action

Buzz phases like “social commerce” get thrown around way too frequently these days, but we often miss it when micro components of a macro trend are taking place before our very eyes.   So – what is social commerce?  Here’s a great example.

A friend of mine – Ed Zimmerman – is a world-class wine nut (an understatement) and someone whose recommendations on wine can be trusted to the nth degree.  Thus, when he tweeted last night that he was fired up for the new release of a great wine from a small boutique producer in Napa called Zeitgeist, I reply Tweeted that I’d love an intro.  Got the intro this morning, signed up on the Zeitgeist web site, and bought some wine.  Simple.  Zero marketing effort/customer acquisition cost on the winery’s part, zero friction to get me signed up, and if I like their wines I’ll be a customer for life.  I’ll also probably visit the next time we’re in Napa (hopefully soon).

This is one of the reasons why we are seeing a massive surge in new e-commerce models many are calling “E-Commerce 2.0,” and it’s brilliant.  When customer acquisition costs drop to near $0, and you gain quality customers who are referred by other quality customers, the e-commerce flywheel can really get rolling.  I get 10 emails a day from wine lists I subscribe to, and I rarely buy.  I get one Tweet from Ed, and boom – I make a purchase.

Another reason we’re an investor in Buddy Media and are constantly on the lookout for other companies riding this new wave.

How many people might read this post and buy some Zeitgeist wine (the flywheel keeps cranking…)?

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