For the past few months I’ve been receiving curious emails telling me that “so and so has just given me 100,000 Style Points” on Style.ly. The emails also hint that I might want to check out the boutique of the person who gave me the points. I didn’t remember joining the site, but based off that information I surmised that maybe this was an indie marketplace, or discovery and curation site. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only is Style.ly a re-commerce* site spun off of Yardsellr, it has strong gamification features, and above all it’s a seller’s marketplace.
It’s A Game
As soon as I logged in I noticed my Style Points were quickly on the decline. The attrition rate seemed to be about one point per second. Luckily, when 500,000 points equals $5, losing one point (or one hundred) doesn’t really matter. Even so, a quick browse of the help center (I was trying to understand how to send points) indicated that people were generally not happy that their points expired faster than they could use them. But that’s the game! The points may have a short shelf life, but you can also accrue them by taking actions on the site. Certainly for me, knowing I had up about $15 worth of Style Points to spend (thanks to a flash sale) encouraged me to browse the site looking for something to buy. Were it not for the fact that Style Points don’t cover shipping or Style.ly’s cut of the sale, I would have been able to buy something without spending a single cent.
Supporting the Seller’s Success
Of all the re-commerce sites I’ve browsed, Style.ly gives its sellers the most control over the details of their sale, enables them to sell more, and incentivizes them. With the option to import listings from eBay or Etsy, this site is clearly optimizing for more experience sellers. In that vein, they offer analytics for your listings and the opportunity promote them not just on the site, but also through Style.ly’s social media channels. Sellers don’t have ratings, but they are ranked on a leaderboard not just according to how many listings they have, and how much they’ve sold – but the dollar value of their sales as well. So if you’re not moving your merchandise, that fact is out there for all the world to see.
Having seen a lot of re-commerce sites lately, I really enjoyed the creativity of this site. Beyond sending emails highlighting new items or particular trends, luring potential shoppers with Style Points and rewarding them for activity taken on the site seems to be an effective way to maintain an active user base. And since Style.ly is so supportive of sellers, if any of you are out there we’d love to hear about your experience!
*when I originally coined the term “re-commerce” I was referring to sites enabling peer-to-peer selling of clothes, usually direct from peoples’ closets; however, this term also encompasses independent vendors who also sell through these sites.