Staples unveils new 'entrepreneurial store'
Staples has unveiled a new “entrepreneurial store” through which it’s selling products crowdfunded through platform Fundable.
Thousands of startups entered the Staples “Crowd2Shelf Contest.” In addition to crowdfunding votes, input from experts from Fundable and Staples determined which products would be featured and sold through Staples.
Some of the products, including remote-controlled and mobile-controlled lighting, will be exclusively available at Staples.com and at Staples stores.
Although Staples has billed its entrepreneurial store debut as “the first time a retailer has used crowdfunding to determine market demand and social support in choosing products to carry,” the company may not realize that several other retailers have actually beat them to the punch.
Retailers like ThinkGeek, Gustin, and even Disney use crowdfunding and pre-orders to gauge customer interest in certain products and use the information to determine inventory needs.
A crowdfunding or preorder approach is a way to bring loyal or “VIP” customers in on a project or new product early. And the “tease” of a crowdfunding campaign can stimulate interest in a product as well as measure it. “Some retailers are realizing it’s a powerful marketing mechanism,” Chris Tsai, CEO of crowdfunding platform Celery recently told Retail Dive.
- press release via BusinessWire Staples Debuts First-of-Its-Kind Entrepreneurial Store Featuring Crowdfunded Products
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