Mobile shopping app Mavely launched last week, according to a press release sent to Retail Dive. The app aims to reward users for buying and recommending products from more than 100 direct-to-consumer brands.
Users can earn 5% commission on their own purchases and up to 10% by inviting others to shop. CEO and co-founder Evan Wray said in a statement the company is already seeing a buy conversion rate of up to 12% on products. Prior to the official launch, the app had been operating in beta mode since April, per an article by ChicagoInno.
Mavely is backed by PivotNorth Capital, which provided $1 million in funding. "Mavely is becoming a solid, competitive alternative to costly social channel advertising and provides marketers with a more efficient way to acquire customers at half the cost of Facebook ads," Wray said in a statement.
With a focus on DTC products "of philanthropic, affordable, sustainable, female-focused and/or female founded nature," Mavely seems poised to lure women away from the sales pitches of multi-level marketing (MLM) lines that require considerable financial outlay. The "Mavely University" web portal includes how-tos for audience growth, goal-setting and engaging with social audiences, as well as provides tips for hosting virtual or in-person events to attract others to their Mavely "team."
While it emphasizes that it is "shattering all deceptive practices of MLMs," Mavely seems to also squarely fit into the space between multi-level marketing and influencer affiliate marketing. Users can discover brands and products by interest or via the app's "daily feature." The company does face some competition in the influencer space, including the Australian-based Tribe marketplace. Plus, well-known social apps like Snapchat are getting in on the action by offering in-app stores to some influencers. Mavely, however, doesn't require users to have a certain number of followers, and the slate of partners allows them to pick and choose — and switch up — the brands through which they'd like to earn.
A captive audience of enthusiasts may do wonders to reduce the customer acquisition cost that DTC brands face. Mavely said it plans to add five to 10 new brands each week and anticipates 30,000 users by the end of the year.