Fancy, the one-time Pinterest competitor that has long since set its sights on social e-commerce, is expanding today with the launch of its internationalization efforts. The company is now making its service available in 30 languages and is shipping its products worldwide.
Going forward, Fancy will automatically detect which language to use based on browser settings or device settings. However, web users will also be able to go into the Preferences menu at the top of the screen on the desktop site and change that selection if they choose.
According to Fancy COO Michael Silverman, the company is also handling logistics and customer service locally. He explains that Fancy had been seeing a lot of demand from non U.S. audiences, which is what prompted these changes.
“Just over 50 percent of our users are domestic and the other half is international – including Europe, the Middle East, and Asia,” says Silverman. “Outside of the U.S., there are a bunch of young shoppers on mobile devices who want to shop this way…and we are the only ones doing this.”
That statement could be misinterpreted to mean that young, international shoppers want to buy products using their mobile phone and Fancy is the only social shopping site available to them. That’s not true, of course. What is true is that many of the top competitors in this social shopping market – product discovery sites like Polyvore, Wanelo, or eBay-owned Svpply, for example – link out to other e-commerce sites on the internet, which is not always an ideal experience.
The resulting link may be dead, the product may be sold out, or you find that the company doesn’t ship to your country (or charges so much for international shipping, that you wouldn’t want to bother). On Fancy, users are buying directly from its own website and checkout directly there, too.
That being said, Fancy still has some tough competition.
In the U.S., its iPhone app is ranked #237 in the “Lifestyle” section, behind eBay Fashion (#130), Polyvore (#47) and Wanelo (#18), as well as hot, young adult e-commerce stores like ModCloth (#108), and brick-and-mortars gone mobile like American Eagle (#95) or Nordstrom (#94). However, it is a bit ahead of Pose (#305) and Svpply (#389).
And a quick (non-scientific) look at its web traffic shows similar trends in terms of stateside competition, at least. It’s closely tied with Wanelo, for example, which now has over 8 million registered users according to its website.
Officially, Silverman says Fancy has over 7 million registered users worldwide and 12 million uniques across all platforms (web and mobile) as of last month.
(Note that Fancy had until recently been thefancy.com. It now redirects to Fancy.com, but there’s no data on that URL.)
It makes sense that Fancy would try to shift its battle to the world’s stage instead, by focusing on growing its footprint in other areas where competition may not be as fierce.
The company has been experimenting in other directions as well. Earlier this year, it acquired Samplrs.com, an artisanal foods seller, which Fancy used to beef up its Fancy box subscription service. As for all those acquisition rumors we keep hearing (with unsubstantiated reports ranging from Apple to Yahoo), Silverman says only “I don’t know why you are hearing that, it’s not something that is coming up in discussion over here.” Hmm.