While American e-commerce spend topped $500 billion for the first time in 2018, area entrepreneurs worked to find the next winning e-commerce innovation.
Brands and vendors, for their part, focused on improving shipping times and return policies. As Benja co-founder Andrew J. Chapin explains, he believes companies are focused on the wrong part of the transaction.
“(Shipping time and return policy) are drivers for decision-making but primarily as it applies to where a transaction is going to occur” like buying from Amazon or a brand website, says Chapin, “We’re focused on the decision to buy an item, before we get to that point.”
Benja bills itself as a commerce platform, like Etsy or eBay, but with a key difference: they don’t have a website to purchase items from.
Instead, Benja relies on a set of non-traditional e-commerce user-experiences. One such experience is an interactive online banner advertisement where a shopper can complete their transaction without leaving the page.
“The key to unlocking the next $500 billion (in American e-commerce) is the front-end experience where shoppers interact with the product for the first time. Most e-commerce sites require more than ten steps to complete a transaction and we think that’s unacceptable.”
By requiring fewer steps to checkout and offering shopping experiences on popular websites and social media feeds, Benja believes they’re well on their way to changing e-commerce for good.
Having touched more than $140 million in merchandise sales in its short history, Benja is well on its way.
Disclosure: Benja has been an occasional advertiser on Download Bay Area.