What is Vendazzo?
Vendazzo is a shopping search engine that connects shoppers directly to independent shops and brands. It offers an alternative to Amazon for shoppers to search local first.
The current industry landscape
The online shopping landscape is dominated by the major marketplaces... Amazon, Walmart, Bestbuy, Rakuten, Newegg. etc. As of January 2021 more than 35% of the top sellers on Amazon are China based sellers and brands. This means that not only are the manufacturing profits offshored, but so are the operating profits. This leads to an offshoring of American business.
Small and independent shops selling online are at a disadvantage of discovery. In order to have their products discovered by new customers they have to advertise through social media channels, influencers, YouTube, search engine keyword and display ad campaigns etc. All of these channels come at an upfront cost, being that they are largely pay-per-click or pay-upfront models.
The birth of the company
Prior to the pandemic, Daniel Senecal had been looking for side-hustle projects, and that search led him to a "sell on amazon" model of e-commerce. The deeper he got into the development of his own brand, the more it became clear that while there was an incredible opportunity for building revenue through Amazon, this opportunity was made much stronger by being able to have a direct relationship with customers where trust was built and the customer service model was one controlled by the seller, and not an intermediary marketplace.
Shopify, Wix, SquareSpace, BigCommerce and WooCommerce kept coming up as platforms for building a brand presence and direct-to-consumer shop.
One day during the commute to his career job, the idea struck Daniel... Is there a search engine for all of the independent shops and brands built on these platforms that would allow a shopper to search for items available from these independent online shops? Daniel and his co-founder looked for a tool like this that was already available, and weren't able to find something that did what they felt was necessary for providing a good user experience across the number of shops that they knew could be supported.
So they built their own.
"How we all shop matters to our community. Supporting independent online retailers close to you should be easy. Now it is."
How Vendazzo works
Vendazzo offers a new e-commerce focused search engine that allows shoppers to look for products sold by small and independent shops and brands, and purchase the items directly from them. It currently indexes around 100 million items from 140,000 shops and brands.
Once the shopper has found the item they are looking to purchase, they click through to the shop's website in order to complete the purchase. In this way the shop has made a new customer, and can control the customer interaction themselves. This can produce a better experience for both the shopper and the shop.
Vendazzo offers a proximity filter so that the shopper can look for products sold from shops close to them first, and then widen out their search parameters if the product they are searching for isn't available from a local seller. Supporting local businesses is increasingly important to Vendazzo's users as they watch their local shops close under the building pressure from the online marketplaces. Vendazzo helps its shoppers find items from sellers close to them, keeping their shopping dollars closer to their own communities.
"Already found something I have been searching for EVERYWHERE for months that is every specification that I wanted and is made less than 100 miles from me. I have been using these same search terms on both G**gle and Aazn for a couple of months and found nothing but page after page of cheaply made, imported, and subpart products that weren't what I was actually looking for, even after using all the filters. So thank you thank you thank you!"
"Although your site has very few of those filters, I was able to find exactly what I wanted that met all of my criteria in under 5 minutes. So I would say you're already doing a good job of what you've set out to do. If anything the experience really highlighted just how morally bankrupt G & A are as I found exactly what I was looking for being manufactured less than 100 miles from me that hadn't been served in any of my previous searches.
While I think adding filters regarding sizing of particular items (i.e. shoes, sheet sizes, pant waist measurements) might be useful at some point in the future as you expand, I really want to commend you for creating a search function that isn't hopelessly broken due to corporate greed so thank you."
Check it out: https://vendazzo.com/
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