Frooly launches out of beta today as a market place for local boutique and independent stores from the UK who want to set-up shop online.
It’s similar in some ways to Etsy with its focus on “luxury, handcrafted and unique sellers” but in this case certainly aimed at merchants who already operate off-line but need a low barrier to entry to entering the world of e-commerce. The service isn’t restricted to arts and crafts either but includes food and other local produce. Naturally, the site also offers social media tie-ins, helping these independent and local stores gain greater word-of-mouth exposure.
While for users of the site, frooly offers a degree of personalisation in that it will attempt to learn your shopping habits and aggregate offers from the stores and products featured on the site overall to your particular taste and, presumably, location. To that end, frooly plans to roll out more aggressively city-by-city in the UK in a similar strategy to say Groupon.
During its beta period, frooly says that it has added more than 1,000 stores across the UK, attracting 25,000 unique users a month with an average value of £27 per-transaction. For shops wanting to get in on the action there is a free version, while a range of premium offerings add features such as higher-priority listings and a lower commission per-sale.
The Sheffield, UK-based startup is funded by its two founders – to the tune of £900k (CrunchBase) – from money garnered from their previous businesses. It was also selected to present at Seedcamp London earlier this year.